Statement from Council Member Danny Dromm, Chair of the Immigration Committee:
“I support the federal judge’s decision to block key elements of Arizona’s immigration law from going into effect because these types of draconian measures against our immigrant population are totally unacceptable. It is our duty and our obligation as people, and as citizens of the United States to ensure that everyone’s rights are respected and that everyone is protected under the law. What these provisions of the Arizona law were essentially going to do is allow the police to use racial profiling to enforce the law and that is wrong and unconstitutional. I’m glad that the judge had the good sense to prevent this from happening.”
Statement from Council Member Julissa Ferreras:
“I commend Judge Boltonc for rejecting Arizona’s unjust law, and thank Attorney General Holder, a son of East Elmhurst, Queens, for his leadership and action in this case. We now need to move ahead towards comprehensive reform of our broken system. Millions of immigrants must be allowed to attain legal status.”
Statement from Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito:
We were very pleased to learn of the United States District Court Judge Sarah Bolton’s decision to place a preliminary injunction on those parts of the Arizona’s draconian immigration enforcement law that were most likely to encourage racial profiling and discrimination. Since Governor Jan Brewer signed this law in April, so many of us in the City Council have roundly denounced Arizona’s actions, making it clear that this was simply the wrong approach to addressing our broken immigration system. We were equally concerned that other states and localities would pass similar laws that go against the values we hold so dearly as a nation.
Fortunately, Judge Bolton’s decision today represents an important step toward what we hope will amount to a decision to fully strike down, at the very least, all parts of the law that threaten the civil rights and civil liberties of immigrants and communities of color in Arizona. We would like to thank the United States Department of Justice, under the leadership of President Obama, for filing a lawsuit against the State of Arizona in response to this law. We would also like to thank all of the advocacy groups who have filed lawsuits and the organizations and immigrant communities in New York City and throughout the U.S. who have stood so strongly against this law.
While today does represent a victory for immigrant communities, our fight is far from over. Even if Arizona’s immigration law is struck down, Congress and the President must remain focused on enacting sweeping comprehensive immigration reform legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants across the United States, as well as other critical reforms such as the DREAM Act and the Uniting American Families Act. In the absence of such reform, so many local governments will continue to seek to enact piecemeal legislation on an issue that should be regulated by the federal government.
Here in New York City, we take the utmost pride in being a city that welcomes immigrants from all over the world and truly values the enormous contributions they make to our social and economic life each day.