Equality and Justice for all New Yorkers regardless of status.
As the son of working-class immigrants, I’ve witnessed the beauty and the struggle of being an immigrant in New York. When my parents arrived in New York they were frequent targets of exploitation and discrimination, which are still rampant in our community today. For over 100 years, Lower Manhattan has thrived because of the hard work, culture, community, food, and traditions of our immigrant neighbors. We need legislators who are committed to investing in our immigrant communities, and providing services that protect working class immigrants from abuse, divestment, and displacement.
Every New Yorker deserves to feel safe, respected, and cared for regardless of immigration status or country of origin. I will do everything in my power to ensure that New York is truly a sanctuary city. I will fight to ensure our immigrant communities not only feel safe, but are also treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
PROTECTION FROM THE UNJUST IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
I support New York for All legislation to end the harmful cooperation between state and local officials and ICE. Although New York claims to be a sanctuary city, there is still some cooperation between state and local agencies and ICE. All New Yorkers deserve to feel safe in their city, and that will not happen until we can trust New York agencies to be working in our interests. New York For All legislation would help ensure our state and local agencies are doing what they should be – protecting and caring for all New Yorkers.
I will also fight for Dignity Not Detention legislation. Nobody should be deported, period. Detaining immigrants as they go through the immigration system is harmful to the individual, their families and their community. Dignity Not Detention would prevent the jailing of New York immigrants while they face trial or deportation.
Preventing the detention of immigrants helps ensure that all individuals in New York are treated with the dignity they deserve. It also makes it easier for immigrants to fight for fair treatment in the immigration system, and potentially prevent deportation altogether.
We must also increase funding for immigrant legal services. It is shameful that those who seek refuge and a better life here are not guaranteed legal support. If elected, I will increase funding for immigrant legal services and I’ll fight to pass legislation that establishes the right to government-funded counsel for immigrants facing deportation.
I also support the Access to Representation Act, which would extend constitutional protections to all immigrants regardless of their legal status. Our immigrant communities deserve the same rights and protections as every New Yorker.
HEALTHCARE REGARDLESS OF STATUS
As a social worker and as someone who has spent years uninsured, I’ve experienced the ways that working-class and immigrant New Yorkers fall through the cracks in our profit-driven healthcare system. Guaranteeing dignity and care for all New Yorkers also means ensuring access to care regardless of immigration status.
I am a longtime supporter of Medicare for All. While we fight to enact a single-payer healthcare system in New York state, I will also fight to mitigate harm by enacting an Essential Plan. This would ensure eligibility for the basic health program for any individual whose immigration status prevents them from accessing federal healthcare programs.
EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL NEW YORKERS
Immigrants are vital contributors to New York’s communities and economy, and should be treated as equal members of our society.
We must pass the New York is Home Act. This legislation will allow New York residents of 3 years to become citizens of New York. This will grant many immigrants voting rights and access to higher education, healthcare, and professional licenses.
We must acknowledge and prevent the exploitation of immigrants in our city and across the state. We can start by expanding language access state wide and across all regions. Too often our immigrant communities are left in the dark by a lack of language access. It is unjust and must stop. That is why I support legislation that requires state and local agencies to provide all vital forms and documents in the 12 most common languages. I believe this is only a starting point. If elected I promise to continue to fight for language access.
Undocumented immigrants are particularly vulnerable to wage theft. I will fight to pass One Fair Wage legislation, which will ensure nobody is paid subminimum wages. I will also fight to ensure legal support for all immigrants to help protect against such exploitation.
We must replenish the Excluded Workers Fund with a minimum of $3 billion. This fund helps protect workers typically ineligible for state and federal benefits and support – an issue many immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, face.
If elected I promise to provide protection and support to our immigrant communities while also fighting for a better future. A future where everyone has a just path to citizenship and a future with full recognition of all immigrants as legal permanent residents; a world in which deportation and other systems of carceral punishment do not exist, but rather a well established network of care, respect, and dignity is guaranteed for all.