Letter: Dear Mr. President: Defend the Rights of Our Most Vulnerable Residents (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)
To the Editor:
For a truly successful second term, President Obama must defend and expand the civil rights and liberties of our country’s most vulnerable and marginalized residents.
This means fixing the broken immigration system so that millions of hardworking immigrant families can contribute to society without constant fear of being detained and deported. New York’s leaders can contribute by passing legislation to provide migrant workers basic labor protections like overtime pay.
The president should champion efforts to reform the criminal justice system. The U.S. imprisons far more of its people than any other free nation. Over-incarceration destroys families without protecting public safety, and disproportionally affects black and Latino communities. Here in New York, the president should support campaigns to end the destructive use of solitary confinement in state prisons and improve the public defense system so that poor people charged with crimes have access to competent lawyers.
By focusing on these issues, among many others, the president can help secure the American dream for families across New York and nationwide.
Director, Genesee Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union