Albany, NY - Following the end of the legislative session in Albany, immigrant rights advocates, led by the New York Immigration Coalition, pointed out the lack of real progress in moving forward an immigrant rights agenda that meaningfully improves the lives of immigrant New Yorkers. Immigrant rights advocates acknowledged some important early victories this budget cycle as a sign of early optimism—including the historic expansion of Medicaid to include those 65 years of age or older, regardless of immigration status, and an unprecedented $20 million investment in legal services funding for immigrant New Yorkers. However, the lack of movement on important pieces of legislation like the New York for All Act, the Access to Representation Act, and the Clean Slate Act, amongst others, points to this legislative cycle falling far short of success.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition:
"We’re frustrated that Governor Hochul and our leadership in Albany didn’t do more this legislative session to ensure that immigrant New Yorkers are not left behind by rampant inflation and the hardships of this pandemic. While progress was made with the inclusion of health coverage for seniors, expanded language access, and increasing investments in immigration legal services funding in the budget, it’s just not enough to meaningfully improve the well-being of immigrant New Yorkers. Too many families are still struggling with paying bills, maintaining their housing, and the ongoing fear of being separated from their families, whilst navigating government services that don't often provide the full language accessibility they need. Albany ultimately failed immigrant New Yorkers by prioritizing the politics of an election year over the lives of the New Yorkers keeping our state running and open for business. We won’t soon forget that.”