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Homeland Security Chief Visits NYC, Faces Protest and Press Conference in Response to Immigration Policies

When Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano came to New York to give a speech last week, New Yorkers picketed and held a news conference outside to criticize the Obama administration’s embrace and expansion of ineffective Bush-era immigration enforcement policies. Napolitano recently announced the expansion of a program which enlists local police to act as immigration agents. But many police chiefs say the program is counterproductive, undermining community policing efforts and setting the stage for rampant racial profiling.

When Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano comes to New York to give a speech on Wednesday, New Yorkers will be picketing and holding a news conference outside to criticize the Obama administration’s embrace and expansion of ineffective Bush-era immigration enforcement policies.

Napolitano recently announced the expansion of a program which enlists local police to act as immigration agents. But many police chiefs say the program is counterproductive, undermining community policing efforts and setting the stage for rampant racial profiling.

Napolitano also is continuing the use of the e-Verify database to check people’s work eligibility, even though the database is error prone and could cause citizens and legal residents alike to lose their jobs. New Yorkers are also concerned that immigration reform could be used as cover for the creation of a national ID card system, a plan which would make the ability for all Americans to work contingent on carrying a card that contains an individual’s sensitive biometric information.

The embrace of these immigration enforcement programs started under the Bush administration is viewed as a direct contradiction to President Obama’s promises to deliver immigration reform. It has left many in immigrant communities wondering if “change” really means “more of the same.”

What:
Protest and press conference in response to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s visit to New York City

When:
Wednesday, July 29. Picketing begins at 8:30 a.m. The press conference is at 10 a.m.

Where:
The corner of 68th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan, across from the Council on Foreign Relations

Who:
Immigrant community leaders, members and supporters, including:

  • American Friends Service Committee
  • La Union de la Comunidad Latina
  • Make the Road New York
  • New Immigrant Community Empowerment
  • New York Civil Liberties Union
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants’ Rights

Interviews will be available in English, Spanish and Chinese.

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