PROTECT IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES ACROSS NEW YORK
All New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, want to lead open lives, participate in their communities, provide for their 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 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), or participating in its cruelty.
For years, some of our leaders have used ICE to divide us, determined to cruelly target, demonize, and demoralize immigrants and separate families. ICE’s raids and scare tactics have cruelly separated families, and ICE has leaned on local law enforcement and government agencies to aid their arrests, deportations, and family separation.
Because of this, many immigrant New Yorkers and their families live with the anxiety that living daily life in the open and interacting with government – whether in a 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.
When local agencies work with ICE, it leads not only to unconstitutional racial profiling, but also to the misuse of our local tax dollars and resources to serve the agenda of those who want to stoke fear and divide us.
Scapegoating and targeting immigrant communities for arrests and deportation is both wrong and costly. We need our leaders to focus on creating a path to citizenship, not enabling ICE cruelty.
Where Washington has failed to take action, Albany can take the lead in keeping New York out of ICE’s cruelty and keeping all New Yorkers safe.
The New York for All Act 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 a cruel, politicized immigration agenda.
HOW IT WORKS
The New York for All Act broadly prohibits state and local officers from enforcing federal immigration laws, funneling people into ICE custody, and sharing sensitive information with federal immigration authorities. It prohibits ICE and CBP 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 and CBP access to state information databases.
WHY WE NEED NEW YORK FOR ALL
- Communities that refuse to conspire with ICE are safer.
Since its founding in 2003, ICE has acted with impunity, using lies, deception, and excessive force to storm their way into our homes and disappear our loved ones and community members. The Trump administration may be over, but its legacy of targeting immigrant communities continues. No one should have to fear that calling the police or emergency services may bring ICE to their door. When people are too scared to call for help or trust their neighbors and communities, we are all less safe. In fact, data shows that crime is lower in places where officials do not divert time and resources for a hostile immigration agenda. The Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the New York State Attorney General, and the New York State Police have all adopted positions or policies to keep out of federal immigration enforcement on the grounds that it harms public safety.
Local policies that protect immigrants from ICE have economic benefits for all.
The pandemic highlighted how much we all depend on each other, and by protecting all workers, we can ensure New York state’s recovery. 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 and other local jurisdictions have already passed strong citywide policies to keep police and other agencies out of ICE’s agenda.
- Immigrant Communities Deserve Respect and a Chance to Pursue Citizenship Without Fear.
ICE raids instill fear in immigrant families who courageously endured significant hardship to build better lives here. We need to make sure divisive politics don’t continue to create mistrust and fear. Immigrant communities continue to wait for our leaders to develop a reasonable roadmap to citizenship. They have had to wait too long and the process is too broken. We need to take steps to ensure New York works for all, now.