On November 14, CMS staff Kenny Minaya and Quetzalli Rocha attended a press conference where Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation that will protect the rights of immigrants in NYC.
Mayor de Blasio met with members of the community in front of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Corona. He signed legislation that will limit New York City’s cooperation with the federal agency Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). Under this legislation NYC will now only acknowledge ICE detainers for residents who have been convicted of a serious crime or have a federal warrant out for their arrest. In addition, this law will eliminate ICE presence on Rikers Island Correctional Facility.
Mayor de Blasio discussed that this new law will protect all immigrants in NYC as well as protect the safety of the general public. Immigrants will feel secure under the law to approach and work with police officers in reporting crimes without fear of deportation.
Mayor de Blasio addressed the potential for executive action by President Barack Obama but that a more comprehensive immigration reform must be passed by congress to see lasting improvements. Speaker for the New York City council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, spoke in regards to the importance of cities and states acting in place of the federal government and creating their own legislation to improve the lives of immigrants in their community and to enact the change they want to see on a national level.