PROTECT IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES ACROSS NEW YORK
All New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, want to lead open lives, participate in their communities, provide for family, and access health care without intimidation. The New York for All Act offers protections that help make this possible, by prohibiting all local law enforcement and state agencies from conspiring with ICE or participating in its cruelty.
For years ICE has tried to divide us, determined to cruelly target immigrants and separate families. ICE continues to pressure local law enforcement and local government agencies to search for, arrest, and deport people, and to separate families who are part of our New York. When local agencies conspire with ICE, it leads not only to unconstitutional racial profiling, but also to the misuse of our local tax dollars and resources for ICE’s racist and abusive agenda. New Yorkers who lived through the height of the stop-and-frisk era know what it looks like when government officials misuse local police to fan the flames of racialized fear-mongering. Because of this, many immigrant New Yorkers live with the anxiety that living daily life in the open and interacting with government – whether in a routine police traffic stop, attending school, or visiting a public hospital for care – could lead to being torn away from family. This fear is especially damaging during the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing key communities away from the help they need to protect themselves and neighbor New Yorkers.
Scapegoating and targeting immigrant communities for deportation is ICE’s priority – not New York’s – and conspiring with ICE to arrest or jail New Yorkers is both wrong and costly. Although New York can’t keep ICE entirely out of our state, we can keep New York out of ICE’s cruelty. The New York for All Act (S.7562/A.9586) helps immigrant New Yorkers lead freer lives and take care of family, preserves state and local resources for our communities, and ensures New York dollars cannot be diverted to carry out ICE cruelty.
HOW IT WORKS
The New York for All Act (S.7562/A.9586) broadly prohibits state and local officers from enforcing federal immigration laws, funneling people into ICE custody, and sharing sensitive information with ICE. It prohibits ICE from entering non-public areas of state and local property without a judicial warrant. It also ensures that people in custody are given notice of their rights before being interviewed by ICE, and starts the process of limiting ICE access to state information databases.
Local policies that protect immigrants from ICE have economic benefits for all.
When residents trust local officials, they participate more in the local economy. Data shows that household income is higher and the poverty rate is lower in places that do not divert resources for ICE’s agenda.
Other states have passed legislation to keep local resources out of federal immigration enforcement.
New York should follow other states who recognize the importance of protecting immigrant residents. New Jersey, Washington, and California already have state-wide sanctuary policies or legislation, and New York City has strong citywide policies to keep police and other agencies out of ICE’s agenda.
Communities that refuse to conspire with ICE are safer.
Because everyone in the community feels more able communicate with local officials, data shows that crime is lower in places where officials do not divert time and resources for ICE’s agenda. The Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the New York State Police, and the New York State Attorney General have all adopted positions or policies to keep out of federal immigration enforcement on the grounds that it harms public safety.
Refusing to enable ICE cruelty can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
When local authorities conspire with ICE, they funnel people into ICE detention facilities that are COVID-19 hotspots. COVID-19 spreads disastrously within jails and prisons, posing a risk to the broader community as well. This risk is especially high in ICE detention centers, because ICE regularly transfers people across the country. By stopping collaboration between ICE and local police, New York can help mitigate the threat of COVID-19.