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Over 700 New Yorkers Join Thousands in D.C to Rally at Supreme Court for President’s Immigration Action

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x235,  E-mail: tyaku@nyic.org
Washington D.C  (Monday, April 18, 2016)

Over 700 New Yorkers Join Thousands in D.C to Rally at Supreme Court for President’s Immigration Action

Immigrants, Families, and Advocates Deliver Strong Message in Support of President’s Immigration Action

(Washington D.C) – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on President Obama’s deferred action initiatives on immigration. Over 700 New Yorkers travelled on buses from New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Hudson Valley, and Buffalo, joining thousands more at the "Fight for Families" rally in Washington D.C, to deliver a strong message that millions across the country need immigration relief now.

Up to 5 million immigrants across the United States would benefit from the extension of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of U.S Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (DAPA), two of the key measures in President Obama’s executive actions issued in November 2014. Immigration relief will give immigrants who qualify the ability to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation. In New York, the executive order would provide relief for half a million New Yorkers. The Supreme Court will be making a decision on the future of the immigration initiatives by June 30.

Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition said, “We are extremely proud to be the largest caravan of immigrants and advocates travelling to Washington D.C to tell the Supreme Court that we will not rest until we have immigration relief! The 700 New Yorkers who are here in D.C today have one message for the Justices of the Supreme Court: we have waited long enough. We say to our honorable Justices, the ball is in your court; 5 million people across the United States are counting on you to let them live, work, and raise their families without fear of deportation. By doing so, the Supreme Court will help America return to its core values of being a welcoming nation.”

The 700-strong caravan from New York was made up of immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean, reflecting the true diversity of our state.


[Photo Above] New York Immigration Coalition and its member groups rally outside the U.S Supreme Court in Washington D.C on April 18th.  

New York City Councilmember and Chair of the Immigration Committee Carlos Menchaca joined the New York caravan to D.C. Outside the Supreme Court he said, “Our nation thrives when immigrants are treated with dignity and respect. Striking fear into immigrant households, tearing families apart, and harming children does not serve our national interest. Last week, in the New York City Council, I voted for a resolution calling on the Supreme Court to uphold DAPA and expanded DACA programs. Now, the people of New York are marching in Washington and demanding continued administrative relief. Together, we are working to ensure immigrants are treated fairly and have a chance to thrive. ¡Adelante, mi gente!”

Monica, a DAPA-eligible immigrant member of Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC said, “When President Obama announced DAPA, my husband and I began to make plans – Plans for our children’s education, to find more steady work, and to walk the streets without fear. But when we heard that DAPA had been delayed, our plans and dreams disappeared. My children live in constant fear. My son does not want to go to school because he worries that when he returns home we will no longer be there. We urge the Supreme Court to unfreeze DAPA so our children can have a better future and so we can live in this country without fear.”

Lili Herrera, a Masa member and DACA recipient with a DAPA-eligible family said, "I am greatly affected by the Supreme Court’s decision because I am a DACA beneficiary and my family would benefit from DAPA. All I want is a better future for my daughter and for my family. Right now, we only live our lives day to day because we are in constant fear of being separated. Applying for DACA gave me a security that I never had before, and I want the same access to opportunity for my community.”

"The SCOTUS case is very important for me and so many other Undocumented Americans," said Jong-Min Yu, a MinKwon Center member who is eligible for expanded DACA. "It is my hope and dream that the Justices rule in the favor of President Obama's executive action. It would finally give me a chance to move towards to my career of becoming a federal judge. I hope that our efforts today inspire other immigrants to continue to fight for our Civil Rights. But we won't be satisfied with even just this ruling. If needed, we will march again, seeking a path to citizenship." 


[Photo Above] Judson Memorial Church in NY join the NYIC contingent to #fightforfamilies on April 18th.  

Bakary Tandia, policy advocate at African Services Committee said, “As the Justices are duly discharging their constitutional duties by hearing the United States vs. Texas case about the expanded DACA and DAPA, we are urging them to wisely weigh the impact of their decision on the lives of millions of law-abiding hard working undocumented immigrants.  By supporting them, the court strengthens family values, demonstrates fairness and honors the principles of human rights for all.”

 “SEPA Mujer fully stands with our community and we expect nothing less than the Supreme Court to unfreeze DAPA and DACA,” said Dulce Rojas, SEPA Mujer community organizer. “It's time that the voiceless be heard and the ones in the shadow's be seen! We will not permit more families being torn apart and more students not being able to get the career they deserve!"

Luis Yumbla, communications director at Hudson Valley Community Coalition said, “Our immigrant community cannot continue waiting, while milliions remain in pain and anguish.  the pain and anguish of millions. It is urgent that we return hope in the form of immigration relief to this nation of immigrants.” 

Jerry Owassi, a refugee from The Republic of Congo who now lives in Buffalo, NY, said, “I was resettled to Buffalo a few years ago and in the process faced many challenges and anxieties. This experience allows me to understand the position of the millions of immigrant families who will be affected by the decision of the Supreme Court. Today, I am driving from Buffalo NY to Washington DC to join thousands to call on the Supreme Court to let the executive orders on immigration relief become a reality and reflect the welcoming values of this great nation that I myself received upon coming to America.

 

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The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)  is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees. The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

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