New Agenda for New York to Reclaim National Leadership Role for Immigrants
NEW YORK, NY– This morning, the New York Immigration Coalition presented the Blueprint for Immigrant New York - a broad, comprehensive policy agenda to ensure the success of immigrant communities in New York over the the next decade. In the face of federal threats to immigrant communities, the Blueprint highlights the important role New York State must play, in key areas including healthcare, education, justice reform, and economic opportunity.
“We are at a pivotal moment for New York: one year after the election of a president with a vendetta against immigrants, and one year before statewide elections for our entire slate of elected officials in New York State. Our Blueprint for Immigrant New York lays out a long-term agenda that examines why New York has fallen behind in uplifting our immigrant communities, and identifies how New York State - traditionally America’s gateway to immigrants, and home to the nation’s second-largest immigrant population - can reclaim a leadership role in America in supporting newcomers. This is truly a blueprint to promote the values that make America great: opportunity and justice for all,” said Steven Choi, executive director of New York Immigration Coalition.
New York is home to 4.4 million immigrants who generate an estimated $230 billion in economic output, yet lags behind legislatively– from the DREAM Act, to driver’s license legislation, to workforce development - that enable immigrants to succeed. The Blueprint for Immigrant New York is a roadmap for New York to develop stronger immigrant policies and catch up with other states, such as California, Illinois, and Washington.
“Immigrants have a substantial impact on New York, especially in suburban and rural communities. They contribute to economic output, tax revenues, and play a significant role in creating small businesses,” said Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages, Chairwoman of the Task Force on New Americans. “I am the proud daughter of an immigrant and have seen firsthand that our country, as well as our state, benefits from immigration. I applaud the New York Immigration Coalition for creating the Blueprint for Immigrant New York and developing a vision for pushing back against the rise of ‘extreme anti-immigration rhetoric and providing resources to our New Americans’.”
“With collaboration and dedication, NYIC's Blueprint for Immigrant New York is powerful and solution-based. Our great nation was built on structures built by immigrants, for immigrants. NYIC has created a vision that will foster the continuation of immigrants to be actively engaged in their communities” said Gamileh Jamil, Executive Director of Access WNY.
“With a dysfunctional Congress and an erratic White House, Americans are increasingly looking to state governments for policy solutions,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, author of The New Immigration Federalism and professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside. “The politics of immigrant bashing and race baiting suffered a big setback this week,” Ramakrishnan added, referring to the 2017 statewide elections in New Jersey and Virginia. “Now the momentum shifts towards policies that recognize the fundamental value of immigrants and their contributions to American society. In this regard, Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature can play a significant role in being leaders rather than followers when it comes to state policy innovation.”
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY– Issue driver’s licenses irrespective of immigration status. FAIRNESS IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM – Codify Executive Order 170 by amending New York State law so that state and local law enforcement agencies may not stop, question, investigate or arrest a person based on perceived immigration status or suspected violation of federal immigration law. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT - Engage, educate, and register 20,000 new Americans to vote. 2023 Goals
FAIRNESS IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM– Ensure immigration legal defense funding is made permanent, including through amending the Department of State’s mission to ensure renewed funding. HEALTHCARE – Expand affordable comprehensive health coverage to all New York State residents regardless of immigration status. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – Develop opportunities for online learning and English language acquisition that incorporates an integration-focused education on areas such as community resources, financial literacy, home ownership, and career training services and mobility. 2028 Goals
HEALTHCARE – Pass the New York Health Act. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT – Ensure Board of Elections reform to include automatic voter registration, early voting, increased language access, and a decrease in the number of days required to change party affiliation. EDUCATION – Ensure culturally and linguistically competent early childhood programs and care serve all interested immigrant families across new York State. 2030 Vision
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Immigrant New Yorkers have equal opportunity to access local and state services and are protected from exploitation. FAIRNESS IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM: Immigrant New Yorkers have more full and equal access to the justice system. HEALTHCARE: Immigrant New Yorkers can safely access affordable, quality, and equitable healthcare that meets their needs. EDUCATION: Immigrant New Yorkers have equitable access to quality education from birth to adulthood that allows them to lead more meaningful and successful lives. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Immigrant New Yorkers have more access to economic mobility, whether through employment or entrepreneurship. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: Immigrant New Yorkers are able to more meaningfully engage in elections.
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The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State. We envision a New York state that is stronger because all people are welcome, treated fairly, and given the chance to pursue their dreams. Our mission is to unite immigrants, members, & allies so all New Yorkers can thrive. We represent the collective interests of New York's diverse immigrant communities and organizations and devise solutions to advance them; advocate for laws, policies, and programs that lead to justice and opportunity for all immigrant groups; and build the power of immigrants and the organizations that serve them to ensure their sustainability, to improve people's lives, and to strengthen our state.