Immigrants Protest in the State’s Capital for Respect and Dignity

During the #HereToStay rally, recently elected state Sen. Jessica Ramos spoke about the bill she introduced to protect the undocumented population. (Photo courtesy of Make the Road via El Diario)

Hundreds of members of the New York City, Long Island and Westchester branches of the organization Make the Road gathered in front of the State Capitol in Albany to ask Gov. Cuomo and the legislature to prioritize their #HereToStay platform, which describes key policies benefiting immigrants and New York’s workers of color.

The platform includes driver’s licenses for all, strengthening rental laws and access to affordable housing, as well as ending the school-to-prison pipeline, health care for all, publicly funded elections and cancelling the enormous subsidies conceded to Amazon, which could entirely pay for schools. (…)

Make the Road New York kicked off this massive day of action with a rally and a press conference, held at the “Million-Dollar Staircase” and attended by progressive officials, including recently-elected state Sens. Zellnor Myrie, Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar.

“The organizing carried out by groups such as Make the Road New York will continue to drive New York forward, making it more progressive as well as a place for immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community and people of color,” said state Sen. Jessica Ramos. “I am promoting legislation to promote our undocumented population such as the ‘One Day to Protect New Yorkers’ bill, which will shorten sentences for misdemeanors to a single day in order to prevent undocumented people from having deportation processes initiated on them after they have served their sentence. I am proud to support Make the Road New York in advocating for driver’s licenses for all, bringing the school-to-prison pipeline to an end and preventing excessive surveillance on communities of color.”

Daisy Rodríguez, a member of Make the Road New York, added: “In the entire state of New York, there are 5 million tenants lacking renter’s protections. For tenants like me, this means that at the end of our current rental leases, landlords may evict tenants without ‘good cause’ or can simply increase the rent hundreds of dollars. We need to do more for our tenants and families, and we demand protection and the approval of legislation for ‘good cause’ eviction.”

For her part, state Sen. Julia Salazar said: “I fully support Make the Road New York’s agenda for democracy. Building an equal society begins with building a vibrant democracy that includes all New Yorkers regardless of their immigration status, identity or previous encounters with the criminal system. We also need to approve reform on public financing of political campaigns in order to tackle the great influence of corporate money and private interests on our democracy. A public funding system is essential to seeing fair and free elections in New York.”

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