Just hours before it sets end to legislative sessions In the State Assembly this Thursday, more than a hundred organizations that defend the rights of immigrants, came together to demand the approval of the ‘New York Law for All‘, which would prohibit state and local government agencies, including the police and sheriffs, from collaborating or providing information to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE).
The Assemblymember Karine Reyes, representative of District 87 of the Bronx, main sponsor of this bill, joined this Wednesday the clamor of various coalitions activated in all corners of the state, when time is up so this bill can be voted on by both houses in Albany.
”Our immigrant communities, our neighbors, also have the right to live in peace, but when state and local law enforcement agencies they conspire with La Migra, this is not possible. We call on the Legislature to support this Law, ”said the Assemblywoman of Dominican origin.
This rule would ensure that persons in custody receive a notice of their rights. before being interviewed by ICE.
The legal text would put an end to the provisions of the State Correction Law that requires prisons to collect and make public information about the place of birth of the detainees, and that allows correctional facilities to share information about detained immigrants with federal immigration authorities.
Additionally, the bill underscores that federal immigration officials cannot access non-public government-owned areas without a court order.
The newspaper could not know if the New York for All Act was on the plenary agenda for the next few hours, as well as other laws that enter the ring of criminal justice reforms, such as initiatives to modify the dynamics of Probation the state.
“Until this Wednesday, it was stuck in the Code Committee from both chambers despite pressure from groups of the Democratic caucus and coalitions, “shared a source from the State Assembly.
Lock down the deportation machine
In the opinion of legislators, the application of immigration laws in connection with local police forces in recent years has caused many New York immigrants to live in fear that any interaction with the authorities, such as a simple stop for a traffic violation, You may end up on a tortuous road: detention, deportation, and family separation.
“New York cannot continue to be complicit in the cruelty of La Migra, as it separates families and racially profiles our communities. The New York for All Act will allow all New Yorkers to lead freer lives. Local government agencies, such as their police, should not be included in the deportation machinery “, he replied Donna lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Meanwhile, Rosa Cohen-Cruz, Policy Advisor for Immigration Practice in The Bronx Defender‘stressed that in the specific case of the Big Apple, this regulatory resource would prevent the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) from continuing to collaborate with federal immigration agencies.
“It is time to end this racist and anti-immigrant agenda. No one should worry about a sanctuary city that interaction with law enforcement may lead to family separation. We must end this terror, ”the activist demanded.
The Council in NYC does its part
In parallel, this Wednesday in New York City the Immigration Committee of the Municipal Council led by Councilor Carlos Menchaca, not only urged the State Assembly to pass this legal initiative, but also initiated a series of interpellations to finish shaping the three local blueprints that would amend the administrative code of the city of New York, to regulate, review and limit communication from the Department of Correction (DOC) and federal authorities.
“We have recorded incidents in our neighborhoods that are unacceptable and painful. Here are more than 3 million people who are immigrants. There are many battles ahead, among them specifying that the City agencies do not contribute under any circumstances in separating our families ”, reasoned the Councilor of Mexican origin.
The name of the young honduran Javier Castillo Madariaga, 29, resonated many times in a virtual Council hearing held this Wednesday, where dozens of immigrant coalition leaders testified to discuss current connections between ‘La Migra ‘, NYPD and DOC, despite the administrative legal codes that prohibit it in the Big Apple.
Javier, who had arrived in New York when he was nine years old, was arrested by NYPD officers for “recklessly crossing” on a street in the Bronx. He was then turned over to ICE and detained for nearly 15 months. The immigrant had not renewed his application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The Honduran was in detention centers of ‘La Migra’ during the toughest months of the pandemic, fighting to avoid his deportation that was scheduled three times.
Amid pressure from activists, New York City elected leaders, and lawyers, finally was released.
An internal investigation by the Department of Correction found that the wrong transfer Javier at the hands of ICE, was the responsibility of a single employee. Other measures were also taken to protect against “similar mistakes in the future,” they said at the time. spokesmen for the City.
According to local laws, New York law enforcement officials must not turn people over to ICE or hold them on behalf of the federal agency. There are exceptions for those who have been convicted of violent or serious crimes or who have been identified as possible matching persons listed in a terrorist detection database.
20 people delivered to ‘La Migra’
In the 12 months from July 2019 through March 2021, official records show, DOC delivered directly to 20 people to ‘La Migra’. Of all of them, Javier was the only one who had no criminal record, nor had he been convicted of a violent or serious crime.
Heidi Grossman, spokesman for legal affairs of the City Department of Corrections, emphasized that unrestricted local laws, ensuring that communication with federal agencies is subject to very specific legal circumstances.
“We continue to act with a lot of transparency”, Said the official to the Immigration Committee of the Council.