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“New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform” Campaign Calls on White House to Issue Bold & Broad Administrative Relief

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x235,  E-mail: tyaku@thenyic.org
New York  (Monday, July 14, 2014)

“New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform” Campaign Calls on White House to Issue Bold & Broad Administrative Relief

Campaign Calls on President to Make Good on His Remarks to Take Executive Action to End Deportations, Provide Affirmative Relief

At Battery Park this morning, with the Statue of Liberty in the background, dozens of New Yorkers gathered to announce the next phase of the New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform Campaign, organized by the New York Immigration Coalition. New York leaders, advocates, and affected individuals gathered to call on President Obama to make good on his remarks to take executive action in his June 30th speech.

Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, began by saying, “The President stated that he would take matters into his own hands and do what he can to fix our immigration system in light of Congress’ inaction, and we thank him for that commitment. But now we need him to act fast. In our campaign’s recommendations to the White House, we are urging that administrative relief be bold and broad to ease the threat of deportation that millions of immigrants face every day. Administrative relief will provide our communities the opportunity to take their children to school without fear of being separated from them, to contribute economically in a meaningful way, and to take a small step out of the shadows while we continue to push for immigration reform. This is critical for the nearly one million immigrants in New York who live in fear of being separated from their families, and millions more around the country. The time is now for the President to live up to his words and provide the broad relief that our communities have been waiting for.”

[Photo Above] Assemblyman Marcos Crespo stands with New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform and calls on the President to keep his promise to enact executive action.

New York Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, chair of the Task Force for New Americans, joined the Coalition at Battery Park, saying, "Today, I stand with many immigration advocates to request the President to act unilaterally to fix the broken immigration system. We've heard the promises and commitments. Now we need tangible actions from the President."

[Photo above] New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform press conference at Battery Park, Manhattan, overlooking the Statue of Liberty. 

Members of the New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform Campaign spoke to the urgent need to enact administrative relief immediately.

"We stand here today to tell President Obama that this is his last chance to prove his commitment to immigration reform,” Linda Sarsour, executive director, Arab American Association of New York. “We are tired of empty rhetoric, we need action and we know he has the power to give relief to millions of people. The time is now to show true leadership. We will not accept more excuses or any more delays."

“The state of this country's immigration system is a disgrace; instead of working towards creating a concrete solution to substitute the temporary measures such as Deferred Action program, Congress has chosen to stall and let the issue continue to deteriorate,” said La Fuente executive director Lucia Gomez. “Many hard working immigrants are living in a state of perpetual uncertainty with regards to their future. They are waiting on President Obama to take real and decisive action as means to find a solution to this crisis.”

"Immigrants like me represent untapped potential for this country, economically, and in so many ways. The President has said he would act, since the Republicans have failed us. Now we ask him to take an aggressive action to protect immigrant families, stop deportations, and take a stand for immigrant communities," said Glenda Villamar, member of Make the Road New York.

"We are done with using human beings, our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, as pawns in a political game. President Obama must use his rightful authority to provide real administrative relief to the millions caught in a system with no justice and no hope," said Betsy Palmieri, executive director, Hudson Valley Community Coalition, Cross River NY.

“With other faith leaders from diverse backgrounds, we at the Interfaith Center of New York ask President Obama to issue bold and broad administrative relief from deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants,” said Reverend Chloe Breyer, executive director, The Interfaith Center of New York. “We ask the President to follow up his bold words with brave actions and do everything in his power to stop families being separated from each other--a practice that contradicts many of our most honored national values and deeply held religious beliefs.”

"In the face of congressional inaction on immigration reform and a crisis on our borders, it is time for President Obama to show leadership and use his executive power," said Grace Shim, executive director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action. "Every day, over 1,100 families are torn apart by our broken immigration system. We call upon the Obama administration to expand administrative relief for millions of hardworking immigrants across the nation."

"The NYS Interfaith Network for Immigration Reform applauded the Senate in 2013 for passing CIR that keeps immigrant families together and provides a path to legalization and citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants living among us in our communities." said Dr. Diane Steinman, Interfaith Network Director. "But House leaders have refused to act on immigration reform, cruelly indifferent to the devastating impact of their inaction on immigrant lives, and so the time has come for the President to follow his conscience and grant deferred action for immigrants eligible for legalization under the Senate bill. Their future and moral character of our nation hang in the balance."

“Our country has not seen significant immigration reform in many years. While programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) have been an important first step, more needs to be done,” said Mae Lee, executive director of Chinese Progressive Association. “Many undocumented Chinese who have been a part of our community are not eligible for DACA. Comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship is still what we need. In the meantime, we hope that policies such as deferred action, will be expanded to a much greater number of undocumented community members.

“The desperate situation facing millions of undocumented immigrants in this country--including thousands of unaccompanied children at the border---constitutes a humanitarian emergency,” said Rabbi Michael Feinberg, executive director of Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition. “By any religious or moral standard action is required---by Congress or by the President if need be. From the faith community comes the cry to act--to save lives, to keep families and communities together.”

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Participating Individuals and Organizations:
Assemblyman Marcos Crespo
Arab American Association of New York
Central American Refugee Center (CARACEN)
Chinese Progressive Association (CPA)
Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House
La Fuente
Long Island Civic Engagement Table
Make the Road New York
MinKwon Center for Community Action
New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE)
New York Immigration Coalition
New York Interfaith Network for Immigration Reform
32BJ SEIU
The Interfaith Center of New York
The Black Institute
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The New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform campaign is a statewide campaign coordinated by the New York Immigration Coalition and endorsed by 170 labor, business, faith, grassroots and immigrant organizations from across the state. The coalition is calling for an overhaul of the immigration system to meet the needs of the economy and keep families together.

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