Families affected by deportation, advocates, judges, lawyers and New York elected officials will hold a town hall this Saturday in Washington Heights to highlight the importance of expanding judicial discretion in deportation hearings. Under harsh immigration laws enacted in 1996, thousands of long-time legal residents of the United States with extensive family and community ties in this country have been subject to mandatory detention and deportation if they have committed certain offenses, no matter how minor they were, including misdemeanor shoplifting or minor marijuana possession. The experience of Dominicans is illustrative of how destructive the current immigration laws can be: Nearly 1.6 million Dominican immigrants reside in the United States. Since 1996, almost 40,000 have been deported. On average, 200 to 300 Dominicans are deported every month. This Saturday, families affected by these laws, advocates and officials will tell their stories in the hopes of creating a positive discourse to bring about change. What: Town hall to demand fair day in court for immigrants facing deportation When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 Where: STAR Senior Center, 650 W. 187th St. (Between Wadsworth and Broadway, A train to 190th Street, 1 train to 191st Street) Who:

  • Family members impacted by deportation
  • Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants Rights
  • Breakthrough
  • Centro Altagracia de Fe y Justicia
  • Churches United to Save and Heal
  • Families for Freedom
  • The Immigrant Defense Project
  • Neighborhood Defense Service of Harlem: Immigrant Rights Project
  • The New York Civil Liberties Union