State Senator Marisol Alcantara.

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
Justicia Latina
Servicios Legales de MFY

NEWS | 20 comments | permalink
    1. Sweet Wils says:

      She literally caucuses with Trumpers in the State Senate. Take anything this woman says knowing she took at least $93,000 campaign funds from the quasi legal IDC slush fund to undermine her own party. Look no further for one of the faces of dysfunction in Albany. It’s incredible to me she can sit there with a straight face and call herself a progressive when she caucuses with Republicans. If you’re a conservative, you should love Alcantara. She’s worth 2 republican senate seats because she takes one away from the dems AND adds one to the republican side.

    2. UWSHebrew says:

      Never going to happen.

    3. Scott says:

      Remember one thing about these maniacs. They actually believe — and they freely say this — that an illegal immigrant on the run from a murder or rape charge should enjoy the protections of a sanctuary city, IF the crime occurred more than five years ago.

      These people are a menace to society.

      • sg says:

        Agreed. These people broke the law by coming here illegally and they should be protected…what nonsense. You have to admit that it is rich that we’re supposed to have open borders but the countries people are fleeing don’t.

    4. ksf says:

      Realism dictates that caution is called for: coalitions like this one are always risky– even the best of good will by one democratic member cannot stem the tide resulting from outside pressures on the majority party members in a “coalition” group….

      Mmoreover: that 11.1 M for immigrant representation mentioned in the article is no where near any finish line– doubtful the NYS republicans would ever vote that amount to help people who either can’t or don’t vote –for them!

    5. mc says:

      I truly cannot stand republicans. I never could since I was a kid and into my 50’s. I still can’t stand them.

      But seeing what is going on today, and the likes of the Alcantra, I will NEVER vote democrat again. Not vote dog catcher. NEVER. And I’m sure I am not the only one.

      • francis says:

        Alcantara IS a Republican. The IDC are Republicans running as Democrats to get elected.

        Your first instinct was the proper one.

    6. John says:

      Question to the liberals.
      When Trump cuts the Federal money to New York City for these actions how will the city make up for this lost revenue?

      • UWSHebrew says:

        legalized marijuana and prostitution.

      • Mark says:

        It’s called a bluff.
        Trump lives in NYC and has business dealings here.
        If you really think he’s going to cause financial harm to the city that helps sustain his wealth, you should check out the ads for waterfront homes in New Mexico.

        • Independent says:

          New Mexico has a number of rivers that run through it as well as lakes. A number of listings for waterfront homes in the state can indeed be found on legitimate real estate sites. Are you claiming that they are all or even mostly bogus?

          • Mark says:

            Point taken.
            I should have said “ocean front”.

            • Independent says:

              In fairness, though, I feel I should admit that for all I know, even mere waterfront homes in New Mexico may be rare enough that my challenge was one of little more than nitpicking and pedantry. Anyone familiar with New Mexico real estate who wishes to weigh-in here?

      • EricaC says:

        I don’t have an answer for you. But I do have a question – if he does something that you find truly morally repugnant, will you allow that question to stop you from acting to stop him?

        I get it that illegal immigration is a more tangled question than some – it is true that people have broken the law to come here. It is also true that many people, including many of who are most disdainful of these folks, are more than happy to take advantage of them – hire them off the books, order food that they deliver, etc. – and that they fill jobs that are often hard to fill with people who are able to exercise their rights. (Just think what a terrible statement that is about where our society has come to.) But is there anything that you believe strongly enough to suffer – and fight – for?

        I love this country, and the liberty and honor it stands for. If this Republican administration continues to move in its current direction, we will need to protest and argue to protect this country from this government, and living with these consequences will be one part of that.

    7. phil robb says:

      I do not want illegal immigrants in my district. They have to comply to the laws. Same for the employers who illegally employ them.

    8. Tim says:

      As of this evening, Saturday the 18th, 3 out of 4 of the top stories on WSR pertain to Trump, in one way or another. Seriously? Aren’t there SOME other news stories than people complaining about Trump?

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Welcome Tim, to the Manhattan Bubble (also Williamsburg and Park Slope, Brooklyn).

      • Cato says:

        Well, many if not most of the comments are people complaining about people complaining about Trump, so it probably balances out over all.

    9. Tibbeth says:

      Alcantara is a turncoat, plain and simple. Knowing her alliance to the Republican caucus should insure that folks on the UWS will lead the way to defeat her in the next election. Please spread the word, she is not to be trusted or supported by anyone truly interested in protecting our country and our Democracy. Let your friends and neighbors know what she’s really about. Not interested in any of her hypocritical so-called proposals. If she wants to do something she should either be a real Democrat and stop caucusing with Republicans and helping them keep a majority in the state Senate or join the Republican party and stop using the Democratic party to get elected in NYC/UWS in the first place. Lady, stop trying to play us. No respect!! Change or get out!!