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Coalition and Media Partners Host Town Hall to Support Immigrant Communities in Aftermath of U.S. Supreme Court Tie on Immigration Relief

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x235,  E-mail: tyaku@nyic.org
New York  (Thursday, June 30, 2016)

Coalition and Media Partners Host Town Hall to Support Immigrant Communities in Aftermath of U.S. Supreme Court Tie on Immigration Relief

(New York, NY) On Thursday, June 30th, a group of immigration advocates and media partners held a town hall to provide community members with information about the Supreme Court ruling on Administrative Relief. The town hall, a collaborative effort by New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)Univision 41 Nueva YorkABC7/WABC-TVEl DiarioRadio WADO,Catholic Charities NY, the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA), and American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), to help inform community members about what the Supreme Court’s 4-4 tie on immigration relief means and what next steps are for immigrant communities. The Town Hall took place at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in Manhattan.

Last Thursday in disappointing decision, the Supreme Court announced a 4-4 ruling in US versus Texas, the case determining whether President Obama’s 2014 immigration relief programs can go into effect. The tied decision from the Supreme Court means that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision is upheld, and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) programs will not be implemented.​ In light of the deadlock, the two-day hotline and the June 30th town hall was a hub for immigrant communities to receive the most up-to-date information about next steps in the fight to keep families together and in the push towards broader comprehensive immigration reform. 

Steven Choi, executive director at the New York Immigration Coalition said, “The Coalition and our partners have been preparing this town hall for months to ensure that New Yorkers have the most accurate information about the Supreme Court ruling on immigration relief. Today, legal representatives and advocates are sharing key information about how to protect oneself against deportation and other legal remedies that may be possible despite the setback of the ruling. Even though we had a disappointing outcome last week, we have not lost hope and there's a lot that we can do to support our communities.” 

"We know that many in our community have questions about immigration, especially following the Supreme Court's ruling last week," said Ramon Pineda, senior vice President and general manager of Univision New York. "WXTV Univision 41 and Radio WADO are proud to partner with the New York Immigration Coalition to ensure that immigrants in the tri-state area can access the information and resources they need."

“Today, more than ever, the immigrant community is in need. The deadlock decision from the Supreme Court is a step back for undocumented immigrants. It is important to provide them with as much guidance and information about what’s next for them. That’s why El Diario is very committed to supporting initiatives like this one,” said Carmen Villavicencio, Executive Editor of El Diario, the largest Hispanic Newspaper in US.

“Now more than ever, up-to-date information on immigration issues is vital for people to make informed decisions about what’s best for their families,” said Dave Davis, President and General Manager of WABC-TV. “It’s through forums like this in addition to coverage on Eyewitness News and Tiempo where people can get answers they need.”

"As always, the New York State Office for New Americans stands ready to assist our State's immigrants, especially during times of uncertainty," said New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. "Utilizing our 27 ONA Opportunity Centers and the toll-free New Americans Hotline - 800-566-7636 - we will empower immigrants by providing them with trust-worthy resources to help them guard against misinformation and protect them from those bad actors who look to take exploit them when they are most vulnerable."  

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said, “New York’s rich history and continued vibrancy are deeply rooted in the stories of those who first come to our city as immigrants. In light of today’s decision, we must renew our commitment to protect immigrant communities from fraud and other crimes. All New Yorkers – regardless of national origin – deserve protection from those who would take advantage of their unfamiliarity with a new language and a complex legal system. I encourage anyone who believes that he or she may have been the victim of a crime to call my Office’s Immigrant Affairs Unit Hotline at 212-335-3600, regardless of immigration status.”

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York said, "While extremely disappointed and frustrated by the ongoing pain that this causes to millions of our neighbors, Catholic Charities remains undeterred in our commitment to serve newcomers to the United States and to advocating for fair and humane immigration reform that continues the welcoming attitude that has made this country strong, vibrant and innovative.”

“The NY Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association has always been dedicated to serving the immigrant community in the New York region. We are disappointed by last week’s Supreme Court decision ruling on Executive Action. However, we welcome the opportunity afforded by the upcoming Town Hall to provide information to the community and, hopefully, identify people who have might have alternate forms for relief. The current immigration system is not tenable and we are committed to working together with other advocates to craft humane immigration reform,” said Jennifer Durkin, Vice Chair of AILA’s New York Chapter.

"A week ago, the Supreme Court disappointed millions of families who could have received temporary relief from deportation through President Obama's executive actions on immigration,” said Pamela Chomba, Fwd.us New York Coalitions manager. “My parents would have finally been able to apply for work permits and receive peace of mind after having lived in the United States for over a decade - but a split decision from the Supreme Court means they will continue to live in limbo. Despite the disappointing outcome, I'm comforted by the fact that there are so many organizations, including FWD.us that will continue to provide resources to help immigrant families achieve the American dream. We must come together and reassure our community that the fight for families is not over. We will continue to fight for all 11 million undocumented immigrants whose lives are stuck in our country's broken immigration system."

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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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