Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement to commend Mayor Bill de Blasio on signing laws that will restrict New York City’s cooperation with federal immigration enforcement authorities, with exceptions to protect the public safety, and will remove officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement from Rikers Island and other municipal facilities.
Previously, federal agents had used information from city agencies, particularly criminal records, to locate Americans without legal status and to initiate deportation proceedings.
“I commend Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito on their commitment to protecting the families of New York City from the threat of deportation. More than half a million people in our city had reason to fear that any interaction with the police, even an arrest on charges found to have been unsubstantiated, could result in forcible separation from their families. Individuals who are an integral part of our society were effectively deprived of a right basic to full membership in that society – the right to interact with their government without fear of reprisal. That terrible policy has now been changed. New York City has demonstrated the best of its character as a community in which people from around the world are welcomed to pursue their aspirations,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “These laws establish New York City as a leader in supporting the full integration of Americans who currently lack legal status into our community. It is my hope that Congress – which has failed to address the issue of immigration reform – will learn from our example.”
U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.