Press Release

AALDEF and other Asian American groups announce 2019 NYS immigration legislative priorities

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Today, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) participated in a press conference with other Asian American organizations and elected officials in New York City to announce its immigration priorities for the 2019 NYS legislative session. The legislative goals this year will focus on how the state can help protect and expand rights for immigrants amidst the constant attacks at the federal level.

For the past two years, the Trump administration has used hateful rhetoric and launched countless attacks on the immigrant community. Among other things, it has ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), imposed an anti-Muslim travel ban, threatened to change the rules of inadmissibility on public charge grounds, end birthright citizenship and restrict legal immigration, and intensified immigration enforcement actions.

“In the face of this administration’s cruel and racist policies, it is more important than ever to work alongside state-level elected officials to expand rights and provide real wins for our Asian American immigrant community,” said Stephanie Park, AALDEF Community Organizer.

Our 2019 legislative priorities in New York include:

• Passage of the New York State DREAM Act, which would provide state-level financial aid opportunities for all immigrant students pursuing higher education;
• Restoration and expansion of access to state drivers’ licenses for all New Yorkers, including immigrants;
• Protection of immigrants who seek access to New York courts by prohibiting entry of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in and around state courthouses, through the New York Protect Our Courts Act

Park, who is a DACA recipient, said: “In this critical time, the passage of these state-level policies would transform the daily lives of undocumented folks like myself and my family, and allow us to live without fear. Elected officials must seize this moment to provide essential protections for immigrant communities."

This next legislative session represents an opportunity to fight back against the Trump administration’s ramped-up enforcement and demonstrate that New York State welcomes all immigrants. While carrying out its advocacy work, AALDEF will continue to offer free legal consultations and know-your-rights workshops at its monthly DACA renewal clinics.


For more information, contact:
Stephanie Park, Community Organizer
212.966.5932 x223

Annie J. Wang, Director of Immigrant Justice Project
212.966.5932 x213