STATE SENATOR ALCANTARA HOLDING IMMIGRATION TOWN HALL FRIDAY, WANTS TO CREATE A ‘SANCTUARY DISTRICT’
State Senator Marisol Alcantara, who represents part of the Upper West Side as well as an area that stretches up to Washington Heights, says she wants to create a “sanctuary district,” offering services to immigrants impacted by the Trump administration’s policies.
Alcantara and other elected officials including Congressman Adriano Espaillat will hold an immigration town hall at P.S. 48 at 4360 Broadway (187th Street), on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. to answer questions and discuss resources.
The sanctuary district, she says, “represents a commitment to standing with the undocumented members of our community against the overreach of the federal government, including through our Immigration Defense Coalition hotline, expanded constituent service, and events such as our town hall tomorrow that educate our constituents about their rights.” The hotline phone number is 1-800-213-6385.
(One important thing to note: while sanctuary cities and districts may impact the speed or manner of deportations, they don’t stop federal agents from enforcing immigration laws.)
Alcantara is part of the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakoff group that has joined with Republicans in the state senate. The IDC has drawn criticism for standing in the way of progressive policies — including policies on immigration — because of their alliance with the Republicans. For instance, a sanctuary state bill passed by the state assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, will probably die in the Republican-controlled Senate. A recent Village Voice column suggested that growing anger at the IDC means Alcantara is vulnerable to losing her seat in 2018.
But Alcantara says that her decision to join with the Republican-aligned IDC gives her more power to enact progressive legislation. Mainstream Democrats lost another member this week as State Senator Bill Perkins won a City Council seat in a special election. If all the Democratic senators voted wit the Democrats, they’d have 31 members, tied with the Republicans, but the 8 IDC members and Democrat Simcha Felder have aligned with Republicans. (Eventually there will be a special election for Perkins’ seat, so presumably the Dems could add another member.)
“Without the influence of the IDC on policy, the Senate would be under the sole control of the 31 GOP members and Senator Felder, an outcome that would result in the reversal of many of the progressive policies New York State has been able to implement during this period of coalition government,” Alcantara said in a statement. “Since there is currently no realistic prospect of a Democratic State Senate, I would rather have a seat at the table than on the sidelines.”
The IDC is pushing for money to help immigrants, she noted. “In addition to $250,000 in funding the IDC previously secured for the Vera Institute in order to fund legal representation for immigrants, we also propose spending an additional $11.1 million on legal representation for immigration cases.”
Below, see the announcement in Spanish:
La senadora Marisol Alcántara (D-Manhattan) invita a los constituyentes de su comunidad a un panel de expertos en inmigración que proporcionaran información de cómo sobrellavar la incertidumbre y el miedo causados por las políticas de inmigración del gobierno Trump. Estos expertos son representantes de los Grupos de Asistencia Legal de Nueva York, la Coalición de Derechos del Inmigrante del Norte de Manhattan, Justicia Latina y Servicios Legales de MFY. Junto al congresista Adriano Espaillat, la asambleísta Carmen De La Rosa y el concejal Ydanis Rodríguez, mantendran una fuerte posición contra el exceso del gobierno federal y declarará su districto un distrito santuario. Invitamos a cualquier persona que enfrenta problemas de inmigración a llamar a la línea directa de la Coalición de Defensa del Inmigrante. Visite su oficina para pedir ayuda.
CUANDO: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM, viernes 17 de febrero.
DÓNDE: P.S. 48, 4360 Broadway, Nueva York, NY 10033.
La Senadora Marisol Alcántara,
El congresista Adriano Espaillat,
Asambleísta Carmen De La Rosa
Concejal Ydanis Rodríguez
Grupo de Asistencia Legal de Nueva York
Coalición del Norte de Manhattan para los derechos de los inmigrantes
Servicios Legales de MFY