April 4th, 2011
Luis R., walk
Today was an historic day for New York City immigrants. The New York Immigration Coalition as well as many other immigrant organizations were in attendance at City Hall for the 14th Annual Immigrants’ Day of Action. This annual event provides an opportunity for immigrant organizations to discuss city budget and policy issues; specifically those that affect the immigrant communities. A hot topic of discussion was the recent budget cuts proposed by Albany legislators. Many of those in attendance today had recently returned from Albany to discuss the continued funding for the immigrant communities. One of those organizations, Tepeyac Asociacion had members of its “Walk” Youth Leadership Program in attendance.
“Our main concern is that our right to speak out and voice our concerns are upheld. The budget cuts proposed by Albany lawmakers will affect us all in a negative way. Immigrant groups are being overlooked. This state was founded by immigrants. By cutting the funding for our organizations, we are being denied the rights to have fundamental liberties such as education, health care, senior care and much much more. Politicians may see these cuts as a solution to their budget crises, but this is just a quick fix. By denying immigrants this much-needed funding will only cost more to repair the damage this will cause in the future. New York needs to stand up and be heard and not follow the poor example set by Ohio and Florida. We need to unite and send a message that we are important, relevant and we can not be scratched off a budget simply to improve the state’s bottom line.”
The event was attended by politicians and supporters of immigrants’ rights. Those in attendance included Council member Daniel Dromm, Council member Robert Jackson, Council member Mathieu Eugene, Council member Gale A. Brewer, Council member Margaret Chin, Council member Jumaane D. Williams, Council member Leticia James, Council member Rosie Mendez and Council member Maria del Carmen Arroyo. Organizers of this event are hoping that this annual event will lay the groundwork for future productive legislation for the immigrant communities within New York City.
Chung-Wha Hong, New York Immigration Coalition Exec. Director
City Councilman Daniel Dromm at Legislative Breakfast, Woolworth Kitchen.
City Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito
Kevin Ferreira, Education & Employment Coordinator. El Centro del Immigrante