On National Day of Action, Coalition Brings Hundreds of Immigrants to D.C for the #HereToStay Rally and Launches the “This Is Our NY” Campaign

January 14th, 2017

(Washington D.C and New York, NY) Today, immigrants, families, and allies rallied, marched, and held a mass community gathering in Washington D.C and nearly 50 locations nationwide. They met to build momentum to prevent deportations, preserve the DACA program and create sanctuaries of safety and deportation defense networks in cities, schools, churches and states. The New York Immigration Coalition, a leading partner for the #HereToStay rally, brought three hundred people to join over two thousand more at DC’s Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church. Joining the mobilization were Congressman Luis Gutierrez, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and dozens of immigrant rights and advocacy groups.

NYIC's contingent to the #HereToStay rally in D.C including member organizations and partners, Local 100 UNITEHERE!, Atlas DIY, Minkwon Center for Community Action, Chhaya CDC, and more.

At the same time, NYIC launched its new campaign, “This Is Our New York,” a multi-faceted effort to showcase the true, inclusive values of our New York. Through comprehensive outreach, community education, legal services, advocacy, organizing, capacity building, and public engagement, the campaign aims to protect, defend and stand up for immigrant New York – for our New York. The campaign launched today with street teams put together by the Coalition and its members in Union Square and the Lower East Side in Manhattan, Corona, Queens, the Hudson Valley, and Hempstead, Long Island to engage New Yorkers in a social media effort (#OurNY) to demonstrate the support for New York’s immigrant communities. The launch garnered an enormous response, with over one hundred New Yorkers lending their faces to the campaign and pledging to stand up for immigrant New York.

New Yorkers in Union Square lend their face to the "This Is Our New York" social media campaign #OurNY

Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said, “On this national day of action, we are lifting the voices of immigrants by bringing our community members to the “Here To Stay” rally in Washington D.C, as well as engaging everyday New Yorkers in our efforts to defend and stand up for immigrants, regardless of immigration status. With less than a week before the inauguration of President-elect Trump, it is critical that we state loud and clear that immigrant communities and their allies will not tolerate injustice and hatred. We will stand up against deportations and the tearing apart of families. We will stand up for DACA recipients. We will stand up against efforts to create a “Muslim registry” and limit refugees into this country. And we will do everything in our power to make sure that our communities are protected. Our effort will require profound resilience and strength, but we know that our movement has the support of millions.”

Over the next week, the “This Is Our New York” campaign will continue with more actions including our social media effort, trainings, information sessions, and participation in the national and local Women’s Marches.

NYIC members who participated in today’s rally in D.C and in the “This Is Our NY” street teams spoke about their efforts today.

Cheryl Brandon, UNITEHERE Local 100 Lead Organizer said, "As an African American Woman, I'm proud to be part of this Immigrant Day of Action. It is important that we all realize we need to unite together to reach the goal of equality and justice for all. We must protect the rights of all immigrants, as they are a part of building America."

Jung Rae Jang, an DACA recipient and organizer at the Minkwon Center for Community Action said, "As Korean-Americans, we cannot see potential policies such as Muslim registry, increased deportations and enforcement as “other communities' problems.” Some of hte most vulnerable members of our community are undocumented immigrants like myself, who will be greatly affected by these policies. I am going down to D.C. this Saturday with fellow undocumented young adults to do our part in protecting rights and justice for immigrant communities. We are not going anywhere nor will we let anti-immigrant policies negatively impact our lives as immigrants."

Michelina Ferrara, Deputy Director (Atlas DIY) and Youth Fellows Coordinator (Brooklyn Community Foundation) said, “Youth activists are rising up across our city to proclaim that our immigrant communities belong here. This is what our New York looks like and we are bringing that energy, our stories and our hopes to our nation's capitol to be in solidarity with other undocumented and immigrant leaders. We need each other now more than ever. And, this mobilization is evidence that we are here, we are coordinated and we are ready for the fight ahead.”

"I am joining the New York Immigration Coalition to support and protect immigrants like myself that came here for a better life and to give a better education to our children. I want a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who don’t have that so that they will be able to get the same opportunities and freedoms that my children and I have," said Maria Gomez, UNITEHERE Local member.

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood pledges to protect immigrants

Congressman Luis Gutierrez stands with New York's immigrants
at the AME Church in D.C at today's #HereToStay Rally

New Yorkers in Union Square lend their face to the "This Is Our New York" social media campaign #OurNY


The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.