SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES
NEW YORK HAS ONE OR MORE CITIES OFFERING
Albany, New York (added 7/26/09 - see below)
Bay Shore, New York
Brentwood, New York
Central Islip, New York
Farmingville, New York
Ithaca, New York (added 4/5/07 - see below)
Mamaroneck, New York (added 11/12/08 - see below)
New York City, New York
Peekskill, New York
Port Chester, New York (added 11/12/08 - see below)
Riverhead, New York
Shirly/Mastic, New York
Spring Valley Village, New York
Uniondale, New York
Westbury, New York
White Plains, New York (added 11/12/08 - see below)
Albany, NY Council adopts don't ask policy
Non-binding resolution directs cops not to ask one’s immigration status
ALBANY -- The city waded cautiously into the national immigration debate Monday night when lawmakers called on police and other public safety workers not to ask people their immigration status if they are "not posing a threat to the community.”
The Common Council approved the measure 14-0, with one member absent from the chamber, only after adding a clause that specifically said the intent was not to encourage people to live illegally in the United States.
Rather, supporters said, the resolution is meant to encourage a climate of trust and acceptance that will among other things enable immigrants -- documented and otherwise -- to access emergency services without fear of arrest and detention.
See for full story
Ithaca New York Common Council Supports Immigrant Rights Resolution
BY Vaness Hoffman | The Cornell Daily Sun, April 5, 2007
In a show of support for immigrants’ rights, the Ithaca Common Council unanimously passed the Statement on Immigration Enforcement last night in City Hall.
The resolution encourages the Ithaca Police Department to not enforce immigration laws and states that the IPD is “requested to treat the enforcement of federal immigration laws as a function of federal law enforcement agencies.” However, the statement allows for Ithaca police officers to enforce these laws if there is suspicion of criminal activity.
The Common Council Chambers were completely filled and 10 people, including Cornell students, employees and Ithaca College faculty, spoke before the Council to support the measure.
One of the speakers, Maria Bruno ’07 argued that with the current situation immigrants do not feel comfortable approaching the police.
Many of the council members expressed their support for the resolution before voting on it.
“No one should be investigated merely because of his or her presence in the City of Ithaca,” said Alderperson Maria Coles (D-1st Ward).
She shared her own experience as an immigrant to the United States in 1961 when she spoke little English. Other council members spoke, echoing their support for the resolution.
“Injustice to one person in this community is injustice to everyone in the community,” said Gayraud Townsend ’05 (D-4th Ward).
The audience applauded after the resolution passed unanimously.
“It doesn’t appear to cause any conflicts with federal immigration law,” said Prof. Stephen Yale-Loehr ’77, law.
He explained that this is because of the language of the resolution which requests and encourages the IPD to refrain from enforcing immigration laws.
According to Coles, about 60 other cities have passed similar resolutions.
“Local governments have every right to pass ordinances and laws that govern their local jurisdiction,” said Michael Gilhooly, northeast regional communications director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a written statement. “At the same time, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is mandated by Congress to enforce a wide range of federal immigration and customs laws.”
Of the students attending the meeting, Alan Ra ’09 said, “Not only does it have significance in the local arena; this is a statement to the rest of the country.”
Marlene Ramos ’09 said that this resolution’s approval shows how Cornell students can impact change. Most of the students in attendance were members of the Cornell Alliance for Immigrant Rights and the International Social Organization.
At the start of the Common Council meeting Alderman David Gelinas formally presented the Collegetown Vision Statement, which addresses strengths, weaknesses, challenges and recommendations for the business, housing, parking, cultural and urban design aspects of Collegetown. Common Council will choose whether to adopt the statement at next month’s meeting.
Nomination of Mamaroneck, Port Chester, and White Plains, NY as sanctuary cities
(Editor: The following was received from one of our web site users November 12, 2008)
"I would like to nominate Port Chester, NY as a sanctuary city here in the State of New York.
To be quite honest I don't know of any regulations and haven't looked into it to be fair to the Village of Port Chester. But I do know just from living here for the last three years. The downtown village is full everyday with the day workers whom are all illegal. Even during the day they are all hanging out in front of all the churches. The schools have gone to crap and our only hospital here United Hospital closed up several years ago which serviced (the Harrison, Rye, Rye Brook areas) due to the influx of the illegals."
I know Mamaroneck, NY is also another village that I consider a Sanctuary City as well. They even built a special meeting hall courtesy of the Mamaroneck tax payers (and perhaps even some monies went into that from the county tax payers although I cannot say for sure) that is where they can commune together in the morning and wait to be picked up by various construction outfits looking for day workers. So I definitely would consider adding Mamaroneck on your list. White Plains, NY is another, you can more than likely add several other villages from Westchester County, NY. The ones who don't have the problem are the ones where only the extreme wealthy can live, e.g. Scarsdale, Rye, Eastchester, Harrison.
I am very active with other causes but will look into the regulations with regards to the Village of Port Chester and see what I come up with."
(Name withheld for privacy purposes)
Observers: In weakened economy, immigrants' wages plunge
BY DAVE MARCUS | firstname.lastname@example.org, April 20, 2009
Wages paid to Long Island's immigrant workers have plunged as the economy has weakened, according to economists, local business leaders and immigrants themselves.
"No doubt about it, it's happening in every industry," said Dennis Ippolito, business manager of the Insulators & Asbestos Workers Union Local 12 in Long Island and New York City. He said he has been talking to many immigrants as he seeks new members.
Wages for painting, landscaping and other day laborer jobs have fallen from $13 or more per hour to $8 or $9, according to immigrants. In some cases, immigrants say they are so desperate to work they are taking jobs for less than the state's $7.15 minimum hourly wage.
Luis Lopez, 44, from Costa Rica, said he was paid $125 for a day of painting in 2006; now the Hempstead resident said he's lucky to get $80.
NY farmers: We'll cut crops if we lose immigrants
BY JAMES T. MADORE, February 21, 2009 for Newsday
NEW YORK - Long Island farmers say they'll have to cut back on crop production or go out of business if the government doesn't solve their workers' immigrant status.
Rep. Tim Bishop held a town hall meeting in Calverton Saturday to hear the farmers' concerns.
Dozens of them told the Democrat they depend on immigrant labor. They say they fear they'll lose too many workers, citing crackdowns on undocumented immigrants in recent years.
As national immigration bills stalled, state and local governments around the country tried to regulate immigration on their own, focusing enforcement efforts on workplaces.
Bishop says he's also working with the farmers on another issue: deferment of estate taxes on land used for agriculture or conservation
Gillibrand makes first visit to Long Island as senator
BY JAMES T. MADORE, February 21, 2009 for Newsday
Kirsten Gillibrand, in her first visit to Long Island since being appointed to the U.S. Senate last month, reassured advocates of gun control and immigrant rights on Friday that she's open to views different from her own.
Immigrant’s Death Overshadows a Debate
By PETER APPLEBOME for the New York Times, November 19, 2008
Over the years, the immigration issue has been very, very good to Steve Levy, Suffolk County’s suddenly embattled county executive.
Beginning with his support of an English-only proposal two decades ago, to a number of high-profile initiatives he’s pushed since he was elected county executive in 2003, Mr. Levy has become hugely popular locally and a national figure as a proponent of measures meant to crack down on illegal immigration.
An Accident Waiting to Happen
By MICHELLE COTTLE for the New York Sun, June 8, 2008
At the Oct. 30 debate in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton could not explain whether she supported a proposal to provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in New York.
No candidate could have survived this primary’s 1,018 debates without the occasional misstep. But her refusal to take a clear stand fit too neatly into the image of her as a slippery operator willing to say and do anything to win. And just like that, the 16-year stockpile of public ambivalence about and obsession with the Clintons boiled over.
Immigration Foes Will Search for Common Ground at Conference
By SARAH GARLAND for the New York Sun, May 30, 2008
A debate over whether local law enforcement should enforce federal immigration laws is among the emotionally rife questions about illegal immigrants that will stir up New York City's relatively placid immigration politics next week.
At a conference on Monday organized by John Jay College of Criminal Justice's Center on Media, Crime, and Justice, proponents of using police to round up illegal immigrants will face off against advocates of giving illegal immigrants official identification cards, job opportunities, and housing.
NY State Introduces Bill To Ban Sanctuary Cities & Require Enforcement Of Immigration
Peter Gadiel for Family Security Matters, April 24, 2008
Few Americans are aware that currently almost no state and local police are permitted to enforce U.S. immigration law. This is a situation brought about intentionally by the illegal alien/open borders lobby in order to allow illegal aliens to avoid capture and deportation.
Prior to, and even long after 9/11, there were fewer than 2,000 federal agents assigned to what is known as “internal enforcement” of immigration law, and no state or local police were enlisted or permitted to assist these understaffed federal agents. Even FBI agents were not empowered to enforce these laws.
The failure to enlist the 700,000 state and local police in enforcing immigration law was a major cause of the mass murders of September 11th, and of the thousands of murders, vehicular homicides, rapes and other crimes Americans have suffered at the hands of illegal aliens, before and after 9/11/01.
Since 1996, under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), federal law under section 287g of the Act has permitted state and local police to obtain training in immigration law and enforcement powers. However, due to the power of the illegal alien lobbyists, few jurisdictions have taken advantage of this authority. As a result, the number of crimes committed has increased at a terrible rate.
Protesters Decry Midtown Corporate Company's Immigration Policies
NY1 News, April 23, 2008
Protesters demonstrated against the immigration policies of the parent company for Dunkin Donuts on Madison Avenue in Midtown Wednesday.
They said that the Carlyle Group, an $81 billion firm which owns hundreds of companies, is using a flawed system to identify and fire workers suspected of being in the country illegally, and that the system has left employees living in fear.
"Employers should not be the ones that are responsible for checking the immigration status of people in this country. That is the job of the federal government," said Zahida Pirani of the New York Civic Participation Project.
"We know that these federal databases are extremely flawed, and that workers regardless of immigration status are facing a grave risk of being fired because of errors in these databases," said Milan Bhatt of the New York Immigration Coalition.
"If they discriminate, if they only fire Latinos who are the subject of that letter, or if they only fire people who are trying to organize unions, they could be violating the law," said Amu Sugimori of La Fuente.
Ball immigration bill opposed by state correction officials
By Leah Rae for The Journal News, April 19, 2008
Assemblyman Greg Ball says his new immigration enforcement bill is a pragmatic step that targets only criminals, but one of the major players in his proposal, the state Department of Correctional Services, is not interested.
The bill calls for training state police, county sheriff departments and state correction officers to take on the duties of identifying and deporting foreign-born criminals under a deal with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"We feel that it would be a waste of state taxpayers' money for us to do this training when we already have well-trained federal investigators through ICE, who are basically at our disposal if we need them and do this kind of work all the time for us," department spokesman Erik Kriss said.
Under an existing program, ICE investigates inmates flagged by prison personnel as being foreign born and handles the proceedings from there, Kriss said.
The prison system released 9,851 foreign-born criminals to ICE custody from 2002 to 2007 for either deportation or a transfer to federal custody, the department said.
WNY Part of 5 State Immigration Raid
Posted by Maria Sisti for WGRZ TV, April 16, 2008
A Buffalo-area restaurant owner and 10
business associates are accused of smuggling illegal Mexican immigrants into the U.S. to work in restaurants in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
Raids took place in several locations Wednesday morning throughout western New York where it's believed illegal immigrants were allegedly working or living. Two of the sites include El Caporal Restaurants on both Union Road and Dingens Street in Cheektowaga.
Federal authorities say they arrested Jorge Delarco of Depew, several of his restaurant managers and 45 illegal immigrants during
early morning raids in those states. They also searched the Georgia home of Delarco's sister.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities say the illegal workers were forced to staff the Mexican restaurants for long hours with little pay to work off smuggling fees and rent.
Delarco and his associates are charged with conspiring to harbor illegal aliens. Delarco is due in court Wednesday afternoon.
No Asylum: Second Circuit Struggles with Immigration Caseload
Posted by Ashby Jones for the Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2008
Perhaps we were naive. But one of the most striking (dare we say, disillusioning?) impressions we had during our clerkship was how, well, underpolished many of the briefs were. There were grammatical errors, spelling mistakes (as bloggers, we know we can’t throw a lot of stones on this front). Even worse were the briefs containing arguments that went round in circles or went nowhere at all, case citations that just didn’t make sense. Briefs like that were not only headache-inducing, but a little depressing, too. Wow, we’d think. Does the client really know what he or she is paying for?
We were reminded of that feeling this morning while reading Adam Liptak’s column in the NYT on the reams of briefs pouring into the Second Circuit from immigration lawyers. In recent years, writes Liptak, the number of immigration appeals has more than quintupled, a result of revisions to the way immigration cases are handled. Liptak cites a study revealing that seven small immigration firms each had more than 100 appeals pending in the Second Circuit in the spring of 2005.
There is, Judge Robert A. Katzmann wrote for a panel of Second Circuit judges in February, a “disturbing pattern of ineffectiveness” at the lower levels of the immigration bar, one that rears its head in the appeals courts with “alarming frequency.”
Port Chester bride picked up by immigration officials
By Leslie Korngold for The Journal News • April 14, 2008
PORT CHESTER - The bride did not show up this morning - in court, that is.
Fabiana Reyes, the newlywed whose wedding reception allegedly drove her to violence, was in the custody of federal immigration authorities today, which is why she missed her village court appearance on a felony criminal mischief charge, according to a law enforcement official.
Reyes, 41, was accused of damaging drums belonging to the band hired to play at her wedding reception April 5. Investigators said she lashed out in a dispute about the music being played at the St. Peter's Episcopal Church parish hall.
The wedding melee resulted in the arrest of Reyes, her groom Elmo Jesus Fernandez, 42, and their daughter, Helen Fernandez, 21.
Reyes was shipped off to County jail for lack of $500 bail on a felony criminal mischief charge, while her husband and daughter were able to post bail.
A routine check on Reyes' immigration status after her arrest resulted in federal immigration authorities picking her up some time after she posted bail on the local charge on April 8.
Authorities said Reyes was having a bail hearing today related to deportation proceedings commenced against her. She is expected to be in Village Court April 28 on the local charge.
Immigration can scar families, who need love
BY FRANCIS MCQUADE for Newsday, April 12, 2008
My wife was 14 when her mother decided to leave. At a time when a Latina girl dreams of her "quinceñera" - her "Sweet 15 Coming Out" - and looks at her mother, however imperfect, as a model of womanhood, her mom disappeared. She chose to immigrate to the United States, through the petition of her brother, a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Coming from the working-class poor, my wife didn't expect a lot for her quinceñera, but she hoped for something to punctuate her passage from child to woman. But with her father's struggles with alcohol and separation from his spouse, her 15th birthday passed unnoticed.
She would eventually come to the United States herself, under the petition of her mother. Things worked out well for her - marriage, children, career, comfortable home - but she still carries scars. She seldom speaks with her mother, and she carries the fallout from her abandonment. From time to time, she becomes callous, defensive and suspicious of family loyalty. She still needs a lot of assurance that her new family's love won't run away.
There's a poverty of the spirit that can be worse than material poverty.
The Long Goodbye - Attention, immigrants: Report to the Office of Detention and Removal
By Maria Luisa Tucker for the Village Voice, April 8, 2008
Immigration foes have reason to rejoice: ICE, the aptly acronymed Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security, seems to have finally found its stride. Funding for crackdowns and border security has tripled since 2001, and Homeland Security is now, more than ever before, hunting down and kicking out legions of immigrants with criminal records—many of whom have been hiding in plain sight in prisons and jails.
Yes, much to the sorrow of people like Haitian immigrant Jean Montrevil, ICE is now surprisingly efficient. New York's ICE office has rounded up immigrants with criminal pasts who have been here undisturbed for decades without so much as a peep from its predecessor, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Montrevil, at least, has apparently led a clean life for almost two decades.
Just last year, the agency identified for deportation 164,296 people who were incarcerated in federal, state, and local prisons and jails. In New York alone, Immigration officers snagged 700 convicted sex offenders, 205 violent foreign-born gang members, and even the head of a Chinese organized-crime ring. Many were caught simply through better screening of inmates at Rikers and of parolees.
Suffern can't use county jail for immigration enforcement
By Suzan Clarke for the The Journal News, March 26, 2008
SUFFERN - Rockland County Sheriff James Kralik says he has been told by New York state and the federal government that the county jail may not be used to house anyone detained on immigration violations by Suffern as part of its proposed partnership in a federal immigration enforcement program.
The decision was reached after a meeting with representatives from the state's Corrections Commission and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Kralik said today.
The meeting was March 19, and Suffern's Police Chief, Clarke Osborn, was present, Kralik said.
Suffern plans to join 287 (g), a federal program that allows local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program to partner with local law enforcement. Under the accord, local officers are trained to identify criminals who are undocumented, detain them on immigration charges and start deportation proceedings.
Suffern had asked Rockland County for the use of its jail for the immigration detainees.
Osborn and Suffern's Mayor John Keegan both said the decision was not a setback to their pursuit of the program.
Beedenbender worker status bill is stymied
BY REID J. EPSTEIN for Newsday, March 17, 2008
Suffolk Legis. Brian Beedenbender has failed in his attempt to force a vote on his bill to require the county's licensed contractors to verify their employees' legal working status, the freshman legislator said Monday.
Beedenbender (D-Centereach) blamed GOP leaders for thwarting his effort to collect signatures from 10 of 18 legislators, which would have sent his bill to a vote of the full Legislature Tuesday. The deadline for securing enough signatures was 1 p.m. Monday.
Minority Leader Daniel Losquadro (R-Shoreham) said last week that his caucus would boycott the petition in protest of a recent change in the legislature's rules. In January, the Democratic majority pushed through a rule change that requires the 10 signatures to advance to the full legislature a resolution tabled in committee.
Gillibrand, fellow moderates caught in immigration debate
By JENNIFER A. DLOUHY, Times union, March 16, 2008
WASHINGTON -- A Republican push for a new tough-on-immigration bill is putting moderate Democrats such as U.S Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-Greenport, in the hot seat.
Gillibrand, a freshman lawmaker who unseated four-term Republican John Sweeney, has signed up to co-sponsor an immigration enforcement bill sponsored by Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C. But she has declined to support a Republican-led move to bring the measure to an immediate floor vote.
Shuler's bill would boost the number of Border Patrol agents by 8,000 and require employers within four years to begin using a government database to verify that their workers are legal. More than 50,000 employers now voluntarily use the screening program, known as E-Verify.
Advocates of liberalized immigration laws have said that such tougher enforcement proposals should be paired with a new work visa and possibly a new path to citizenship for most of the 12 million or more illegal immigrants estimated to be living already within U.S.
Immigration bill tabled in Suffolk
BY REID J. EPSTEIN for Newsday, March 13, 2008
A Suffolk legislative committee Thursday tabled a controversial bill to require the county's 15,000 licensed contractors to affirm their employees have legal working status.
The bill, sponsored by freshman Legis. Brian Beedenbender (D-Centereach), has polarized legislative meetings since its January introduction. A public hearing last week drew three hours of testimony from both immigrants-rights and anti-immigration activists.
Woman Sentenced For Immigration Fraud Scheme
North Country Gazette, February 21, 2008
QUEENS—A Queens business owner who, with her brother, a former immigration official, engaged in a multimillion-dollar immigration fraud scheme, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Beverly Mozer-Browne, 50 and her brother, Philip Brown, pleaded guilty on Sept. 7, 2007 to participating in the scheme. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Lawrence M. McKenna in Manhattan federal court, who also ordered Mozer-Browne to forfeit $1 million and properties.
Feared Sweeps for Illegal Workers Found Just One
By COREY KILGANNON for the New York Times, February 19, 2008
To great fanfare in October 2006, Steve Levy, the Suffolk County executive, signed a new law requiring 6,000 contractors working for the county to affirm that their employees were not illegal immigrants, prompting fear of impromptu inspections and roundups of Hispanic men.
In Guilty Plea, Actress’s Killer Changes Story to Robbery
By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS for the New York Times, February 15, 2008
An illegal immigrant from Ecuador changed his story and pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of Adrienne Shelly, a filmmaker.
Lawmaker on Long Island Wants Worker Status Verified
By COREY KILGANNON for the New York Times, February 1, 2008
HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. — In the latest move on eastern Long Island to crack down on illegal immigrants, a freshman Suffolk County legislator proposed a bill on Thursday that would require the estimated 15,000 licensed contractors there to verify their workers’ legal status.
Warehouse Workers Quit in Immigration Inquiry
By NINA BERNSTEIN for the New York Times, December 13, 2007
Fresh Direct, the online grocery delivery operation, lost dozens of employees this week after federal immigration officials notified the company that its employee records were under investigation.
A Closer Look at the ‘Sanctuary City’ Argument
By MICHAEL LUO for The New York Times, 11/29/07
The term has been wielded by the Republican candidates as a billy club against one another, but there is no universally accepted definition.
Giuliani toughens immigration stance
By Erin Kelly, Gannett News Service, 11/23/07
WASHINGTON -- When Rudy Giuliani looks at the city he once governed, he sees the hard work of immigrants who came to this country seeking a better life.
License Issue Figures Large in Local Races
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and PAUL VITELLO for the New York Times, 11/4/07
BUFFALO — When she arrived at an assisted living center for a candidates’ forum here recently, Kathleen C. Hochul, the Erie County clerk, spent a few minutes explaining what county clerks do. As the audience listened sleepily, Ms. Hochul, a no-nonsense lawyer, quickly reeled through an explanation of housing permits, business registrations and her plan to shorten lines at the downtown auto bureau.
Bloomberg Opposes Spitzer’s Latest Plan for Drivers
By DANNY HAKIM for the New York Times, 11/2/07
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg came out against Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s latest driver’s license proposal during an interview on CNN last night, saying, “I still don’t think that it is where we should be.”
The Yes, No and Maybe on Driver’s Licenses
New York Times, 11/1/07
In the Democratic debate on Tuesday night, Tim Russert, the moderator, tried to pin down Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on letting illegal immigrants obtain driver’s licenses:
N.Y. Will Offer Secure Driver's Licenses to Citizens
Associated Press, 10/28/07
Illegal Immigrants Will Be Allowed to Get a Version, a Move Homeland Security Secretary Criticizes
Towns Rethink Laws Against Illegal Immigrants
KEN BELSON and JILL P. CAPUZZO for the New York Times, 9/5/07
An anti-immigrant fire has swept the American landscape over the past two years, and immigrants are not the only ones scorched. Laws passed in more than 30 US towns, penalizing anyone who employed or rented to illegal immigrants, sent thousands running and left local businesses empty of customers.
Spitzer Relishes Fight on License Policy, but Some Democrats Worry
NICHOLAS CONFESSORE for the New York Times, 10/3/07
Gov. Eliot Spitzer on Wednesday defended his controversial decision to allow illegal immigrants to obtain New York driver’s licenses. And he seemed to like it....
State Clerks’ Group Votes to Condemn License Policy
NICHOLAS CONFESSORE for the New York Times, 10/4/07
ALBANY, Oct. 4 — The state association of county clerks voted on Thursday to condemn Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s executive order allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, and at least a dozen said they would not follow the new policy despite state laws obligating them to do so....