October 27, 2016
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Vance Plan will Double Resources, Expand Pilot Program, Support Fraud Education,
Hire Specialized Attorneys, and Increase Community Outreach

Manhattan District Attorney candidate Cy Vance today announced his new Plan for Immigrant Protection at the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Association headquarters on Mott Street. The Association, a prominent Cantonese community organization founded nearly 160 years ago, endorsed Vance for Manhattan District Attorney and praised his comprehensive plan to protect immigrants.

“Crime against immigrants is a scourge on our society. Fraud and other forms of exploitation are widespread, as landlords, employers and others prey on a population that is particularly vulnerable. This will not be tolerated in Manhattan,” said Vance. “My plan significantly enhances our efforts to help immigrant communities by increasing enforcement, focusing on education and prevention, and ensuring that the DA’s Office is a place where all people feel safe reporting crime. Above all, my emphasis on community-based justice will make immigrants safer by linking communities with the prosecutors who serve them.”

Jack Eng, President of the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Association, said: “I’m proud to say that Cy’s plan recognizes the challenges of law enforcement in the Cantonese community and has smart solutions to the too-frequent victimization of immigrants. I couldn’t be more excited about it. In its innovative responses to crime, its commitment to the least powerful in our city, and its emphasis on community-based justice, the plan reflects Cy’s commitment to ensuring safe neighborhoods and fair treatment for all.”

The plan features dramatic increases in resources for enforcement efforts, enhanced cooperation with immigrant communities, and the elevation of the Immigrant Affairs Program into full unit status. Vance stressed to the Association’s members the confidentiality of reports made to the DA’s Office, which will never disclose a victim’s immigration status to outside authorities.

Immigrants are often fearful of reporting crimes and unfamiliar with the protections of the American legal system. This makes them a population particularly vulnerable to exploitation. A recent National Institute of Justice survey revealed that immigrants report crimes less frequently than other victims, that this underreporting is not limited to undocumented immigrants, and that more than half the respondents believed that underreporting poses a problem for the criminal justice system.

Fraud schemes targeted at immigrants include fake attorneys demanding large sums of money for services never rendered, individuals or businesses making false promises for work or visas, unfair housing and labor practices, discrimination, pyramid schemes, and sales of fraudulent documents.

Moises Perez, Founder and Executive Director of Alianza Dominicana, the largest community agency for Dominicans in the United States, said: “As Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance will make our streets safer while acting with fairness, justice and integrity. His Plan for Immigrant Protection demonstrates a strong commitment to justice for all New Yorkers, regardless of their country of origin. I am confident that it will make Latino communities safer. I know that Cy Vance cares about the Washington Heights community and all of Manhattan’s neighborhoods, and he will fight to protects their residents on the streets and in their homes.”

“My plan will work to combat the unfortunate realities of immigrant-targeted crime,” said Vance. “I am completely committed to protecting members of immigrant communities and ensuring that they are confident they can come forward without fear, regardless of their immigration status. We will use every means at our disposal to make sure that immigrants receive aid from our office and the full protection of the law.”

The Immigrant Protection Plan Includes:
  • Immigrant Affairs Unit. The existing Immigrant Affairs Program will be elevated to full unit status within the Special Prosecutions Bureau of the District Attorney’s Office.
  • Increased Resources. Resources will be doubled, with specially-trained Assistant District Attorneys and new immigrant-assistance coordinators assigned to the unit.
  • Community Based Justice. Throughout the county, prosecutors will be assigned to specific geographic areas. This will allow prosecutors in immigrant communities to better understand the unique challenges of each area, build relationships, and develop solutions based on the needs of each community.
  • Education. Current pilot programs for public education in the schools and special seminars on immigrant rights and fraud prevention will become formal parts of the unit’s mandate.
  • U Visa Expansion. Vance will support the expanded use of U visas to victims of fraud. This will make our communities safer by encouraging victims of crimes to cooperate with investigations.
    • Issued to victims of certain crimes who work with enforcement agencies, U Visas provide these immigrants with authorized stays and employment authorization. In return, they will help us more effectively investigate crimes.
  • Information. The unit will work with leading members of immigrant communities to inform immigrants of their rights, the programs provided by the DA’s office, and the dangers of immigrant-directed crime. This information will include:
    • Reminders that the DA’s office has a standing policy of not sharing information provided by victims and witnesses to immigration officials.
    • Public service ads warning of the dangers of fraud and the legal rights of immigrants. When it comes to fraud, a more informed city is a safer city.
  • Prosecuting Hate Crimes. The Immigrant Affairs Unit will work together with Vance’s proposed Hate Crimes Unit to prosecute those who target immigrants for their race or ethnicity.

For more information about Cy Vance for DA please visit our website www.cyvanceforda.com

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