Congresswoman Yvette Clarke has welcomed an assurance from New York City personnel to continue support for the city’s immigrant community in the face of possible negative policies by the Trump administration.
The Council’s assurance came in a letter to New York Immigrant communities released on Thursday, November 17, by Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Immigration Committee Chair Carlos Menchaca and Council member Daniel Dromm.
In the context of fears expressed by immigrant communities about their future in America given the victory of Trump, and in an attempt assuage concerns, the letter urged immigrant New Yorkers to contact one of the trusted legal service organisations that has partnered with the City to provide free information about immigration city services and protection. Referrals to trusted organisations were also available by calling 311 the letter pointed out.
Listing some of its work in helping immigrant communities , the letter advised immigrants, ‘during these uncertain times we must remind ourselves of who we are as a city and hold steadfast to those values that we cherish and hold dear. The values of hard work, respect and coming together during times of adversity define us as new Yorkers. This will not change no matter who is president.
“New York City has always been deeply committed to protecting the rights of our immigrant communities regardless of their status. Our commitment to that will never change.”
Commenting on the letter, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke noted that New York City has always been – and remains today - a vibrant community of immigrants from around the world.
“My own parents came to Brooklyn from the island nation of Jamaica, living a chronicle of American history as immigrants in search of opportunity for themselves and their children.
“Today, many people are rightly concerned that President-Elect Trump and his allies intend to undermine that tradition and forcibly remove millions of Americans from a nation they know as their home.
“We cannot allow xenophobia to triumph. Here in New York City and across this nation, we will stand united in opposition to any attack on immigrant families and in support of a nation that celebrates its beautiful diversity.”
Immigration lawyer Irwine Clare spoke to the NYC’s ‘Sanctuary City’ stance in protecting the interest of those who immigration challenged from the uncertainties that lie ahead in a new Trump administration.
He explained there were some 31 cities across the US which were designated as Sanctuary Cities and in light of the threat of the Trump administration to defund from Federal dollars for several activities, these cities like NYC are taking steps to safeguard the rights of the affected persons.
Basically NYC and others will not permit uniform municipal and other city agencies from reporting on those who are unlawfully present, they will not report them to ICE. It should be noted however persons who commit crimes will be dealt with within the confines of the law.
“The Caribbean community like other communities are indeed concerned and will avail themselves of the mechanisms in place to conduct their daily lives as best as possible,” he said.