The following is an open letter from Make The Road New York:
On Tuesday, October 19, MRNY will hold our Third Annual Democracy Day with 1,000 members standing together with elected officials, clergy and allies to tell New York City to get out of the deportation business and end its unjust cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
Join us for a march across the Brooklyn Bridge and a rally by City Hall!
Each year, the NYC Department of Corrections (DOC) assists ICE in transferring 3,000-4,000 New Yorkers into deportation proceedings. This process is expensive for the DOC, placing undue financial burden on NYC taxpayers, even though there is no legal obligation for the City to cooperate in this way. Neither agency exercises any discretion in this process and routinely places asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, long-term permanent residents, juveniles, persons seeking protection under the Violence Against Women Act, and individuals with NO criminal record in immigration detention.
It works like this: if you are arrested and unable to produce immigration documents - even if you are wrongfully arrested and acquitted of all charges - you could still be placed in deportation proceedings. Even Lawful Permanent Residents are often sent to immigration jails thousands of miles away and placed in deplorable conditions - without adequate access to counsel, medical care, family, witnesses, or evidence necessary to defend themselves against deportation orders.
This practice makes witnesses and victims afraid to come forward about a crime for fear of deportation - making everyone in NYC less safe. It also leaves behindthousands of broken families every year. Approximately 50% of immigrant families that lose bread-winners to deportation become reliant on some form of public assistance.
On Tuesday, join us to launch a campaign to pass legislation that protects the rights of all New Yorkers by establishing a deportation process that is fair and focuses the City's scant resources on those individuals that pose a real threat to the safety of New Yorkers.
10:30 AM - Meet at Cadman Plaza for march across the Brooklyn Bridge
12:00 PM - Rally in front of 250 Broadway, next to City Hall Park
Click for directions
Buses to Cadman Plaza will leave from each MRNY office at 9am. If you would like to ride with us, please contact the office closest to you:
Bushwick: (718) 418-7690
Jackson Heights: (718) 565-8500
Port Richmond: (718) 727-1222