Our Plan in Support of Immigrant Rights

As your City Council Member, I will fight to make New York City a more equitable and safe home for immigrants:
  • Support community-based organizations and City agencies to better provide resources and support to immigrants.
  • Help immigrants get equitable aid, have equal representation, and feel safer in New York City.
  • Press for stronger immigrant support and protection at the state and federal levels.

Read more below...

The Issues:

New York City’s strength lies in its cultural diversity as a city of immigrants. Immigrants comprise nearly 38% of our city’s population and 45% of its workforce, with parts of The Bronx having particularly high concentrations of immigrant residents. Immigrants contribute to our local economies, and to richer, local communities. Despite the resilience and strength of our immigrant communities, COVID-19 has deeply hurt and traumatized immigrants, and laid bare pre-existing inequities. In my work with immigrant communities I have seen the devastating impact of anti-immigrant policies and their impacts on families and seniors throughout The Bronx. 

 

Immigrants are facing a disproportionate impact from COVID-19—economically, physically, and emotionally. Immigrant communities have seen a dramatic loss of primary income, a rise in eviction threats, and increased food insecurity. COVID-19 and the Trump Administration’s racist rhetoric throughout the crisis have also created a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes, which have caused Asian immigrant communities to fear for their safety, and Asian business owners to see even more drastic losses throughout these intersecting crises. 

 

In terms of support throughout the pandemic, our immigrant communities have been shut out of almost all government stimulus support and cash assistance programs. Many immigrants are not eligible for state unemployment due to their immigration status, and a lack of health care, language access, and digital equity have further deepened the struggles immigrant communities face. 

Our Solutions:

In order to build back better and make New York City a place for everyone to thrive, we need to prioritize support for our immigrant communities.

 

As your City Council Member, I will fight alongside the residents of District 11 to make New York City a more equitable and safe home for immigrants.

 

Support community-based organizations and city agencies to better provide resources and support to immigrants:
  • Ensure that community-based organizations that serve and work with our immigrant communities are adequately funded and supported by City Council.

  • Work to make sure that the Department for the Aging is equipped to address older immigrants’ needs and that senior centers have resources to offer culturally- and linguistically-responsive services.

  • Allocate additional funding to community-based organizations that offer avenues of support for Asian immigrant communities and business owners.

  • Ensure that special provisions exist for immigrant communities in all essential services provided by the City, prioritizing language access, digital equity, and culturally-responsive offerings.

  • Expand the role of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs to provide free or low-cost translation services for community-based organizations, to create jobs and improve language access.

Help immigrants get equitable aid, have equal representation, and feel safer in New York City:

 

  • Strengthen anti-harassment laws and resources for immigrant tenants.

  • Ensure that immigrant business owners are included in grant and loan disbursement throughout COVID relief. 

  • Pass City Council Intro 1876, that would give the right to vote to non-citizen but permanent residents and green card holders in New York City elections.

 

While it is important to support our immigrants at the city-level, I recognize that support cannot stop there.

 
As your City Council representative I will use my platform to press for stronger immigrant support and protection at the state and federal levels: 
  • Advocate for state legislation on immigrant health care and support the Coverage for All Campaign that seeks to create a statewide health insurance solution for New Yorkers who are excluded from eligibility for coverage because of their immigration status.

  • Advocate for federal reforms including: 

    • Expand Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) through the inclusion of children who juvenile courts have intervened to protect from domestic violence in the home, reducing the barrier of special findings orders.

    • Expand pathways to citizenship and support the Biden administration’s current plan that would expand pathways to citizenship for 11 million undocumented peoples living in the United States.

    • Fully rescind the Public Charge Rule. 

    • Protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

    • Fully include all immigrants in COVID-19 financial assistance and relief programs.

    • Implement a moratorium on certain deportations.

Abigail Martin for City Council

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