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Coalition Expresses Outrage at Introduction of New York State Anti-Refugee Bill Calling for Registration of Refugees

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x 235,  E-mail: tyaku@nyic.org
New York   (Friday, March 11, 2016)

Coalition Expresses Outrage at Introduction of New York State Anti-Refugee Bill Calling for Registration of Refugees

 Coalition Calls on New York State Senate to Vote against Divisive and Dangerous Bill

(New York, NYThe New York Immigration Coalition has learned that New York State Senator Terrence Murphy introduced a bill that would require residents of New York State, who entered the U.S as refugees, to register with the State and require refugee resettlement agencies to monitor and report on the activities of refugees. An initial hearing has occurred to discuss the bill and on Monday, March 14th, members of NYS Senators on the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee will vote to move the bill to the Senate floor.

Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said, “Shame on State Senator Terrence Murphy for introducing such a heinous bill that treats refugees, who are fleeing from violence and conflict, like criminals.”

“New York State has always been a welcoming state for all immigrants and refugees and we must uphold this tradition. In places like Rochester and Buffalo where larger refugee populations have been settled, we have seen these communities help grow the economies of these localities. It is imperative that we not lose our values as a State in favor of fear mongering, racism, and divisiveness. The “special registration” called upon by this bill does not “protect” anyone, but puts up more red tape and ostracizes refugees.”

“To the New York State legislators on the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, including New York State Senators Thomas Croci, George Amedore, David Calucci, Simcha Felder, Martin Golden, William Larking, Kathleen Marchione, Robert Ortt, Joseph Addabbo Jr., Leroy Comrie Jr., Marc Panepinto, James Sanders, Jose Serrano, we call you to strike down this hateful bill. New Yorkers do not fan the flames of intolerance.”

Eva Hassett, executive director, International Institute of Buffalo, an NYIC member organization added, “The US government refugee resettlement program, established in 1980, is a well-managed partnership between the federal government, ten national nonprofits and almost 200 local nonprofits like the International Institute of Buffalo. The 85,000 refugees who will be admitted to the US this year are extensively screened by federal agencies including Department of Homeland Security, CIA, FBI in a process that takes up to 24 months. There is no need to duplicate that process at the state level.  

“Leaders in Buffalo, from the Mayor to the County Executive - as well as the community as a whole  - realize the value of our refugee and immigrant population to Western New York’s economic resurgence.

“Anti-refugee rhetoric does not belong in Buffalo or New York State.”

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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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