FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Immigrant Long Islanders Celebrate President Obama's Administrative Action Announcement to Protect Immigrant Families
Policy estimated to shield millions from deportation, keep families together
BRENTWOOD — Today, Long Islanders celebrated President Obama's announcement of administrative action to protect millions of undocumented immigrant from senseless deportations. The President's new policy, which will provide deferred action to undocumented parents and families of United States citizens, will provide a needed reprieve for millions of families and enable immigrant families to stay together. Long Island immigrants and community members gathered to watch and celebrate the announcement, while re-affirming their commitment to fighting for the same protections and a path to citizenship for all eleven million undocumented immigrants. Community members and allies issued the following statements [Photos available here]:
Kimberlyn Cuero, a high school senior in Brentwood who is a member of Make The Road NY, said “This executive action will benefit me because I will have a work permit for longer and my mom will not have to live in fear of deportation. She will be able to work. My two little sisters are documented, so if she gets deported, we will be left here alone.”
Pat Young, Program Director at CARECEN, said "30,000-50,000 immigrants on Long Island will benefit directly from the President's announcement today. Their families and our communities will also benefit. Long Island's immigrants have worked hard to make today happen. They will not tolerate this achievement being rolled back by Congress."
Steve McFarland, coordinator of the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, said “This afternoon we celebrate President Obama’s action to provide long-awaited relief from deportation, for millions. Amidst tears of joy and excitement, we stand by one another as a community to continue fight for reform. We give thanks today for this sweeping action, but will keep pushing for a system that keeps our families together.”
Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, Executive Director of Long Island Wins, said "President Obama's leadership on executive action last night is a monumental step toward meaningful immigration reform. Five million immigrants will benefit from this by being able to live, work and stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. But we must not forget those human lives that were left out of this program. We will continue to fight for just and fair reform.”
Gabriela Castillo, an immigration attorney with SEPA Mujer, said “While we applaud President Obama’s effort to provide temporary relief to a large number of immigrant families across the United States, we also acknowledge that more needs to be done to protect the millions of well deserving immigrants who were left out of this relief. We must hold our elected officials in Congress accountable and demand they do their job. It is time to stop playing politics with the lives of so many vulnerable and hard-working immigrants.”
Sister Rosalie A. Carven with the Sisters of St. Joseph, said “Today President Obama has the title of ‘Good Samaritan in-chief’. Immigrant families stripped by deportation are being rescued. There are more people to be helped, but this is a start. I say to Congress ‘Go and do likewise’.”
Victoria Daza, Immigration organizer with Jobs With Justice, said "We commend the President for using his executive authority and stepping up for the rights of immigrants. Administrative relief will open the doors for educational and employment opportunities that have been denied for far too long. We must not forget though, that this is merely a stopgap solution that still leaves millions of children, families and workers unprotected and in the shadows, but we will continue moving forward."
Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said "We thank the President for having the courage to use his executive authority to take a historic step for immigrant rights and civil rights, and send a message to Congress that no one benefits from the separation of immigrant families. The President's action will provide a significant measure of justice for millions of undocumented immigrants living in fear of deportation. However, we do not forget those who remain without protection, and continue to call on Congress to stop the needless roadblocks and pass a comprehensive legislative solution.”
Sister Mary Beth Moore from the Centro Corazón de María of Hampton Bays, said "I echo the sentiments of our Latino women's group, Mujeres Sin Fronteras [Women without Borders] who are very grateful for Obama's immigration relief. At the same time, we are even more determined to work for full comprehensive immigration reform, so that the unity of immigrant families is protected by law.”
Dafny J. Irizarry, President of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association, “This is a victory for our country's values and the many promises and dreams of our immigrants families. This action gives opportunities to many of our students who will contribute to elevate the powerful spirit of this country."
Make the Road New York and CARECEN will begin educating community members about the new policy and screening community members for eligibility immediately following the announcement, as the first step in the process to providing application services to community members.
Media availability: in-person interviews with affected residents at our office in Brentwood. Press visits to screening workshops can also be arranged.
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