Queens will support its immigrants

TimesLedger Newspapers
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President Trump’s immigration policy is dehumanizing individuals, ripping children from the arms of their parents and tearing families apart.

It makes this otherwise-proud American deeply embarrassed of my home country. The future history of the United States will be unkind to this national shame and humanitarian crisis.

We are better than this. We must be better than this.

I could talk about the poem on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” I could cite that sacred document called the Constitution that lays out basic due process needs by which a government must abide. I could also reference the Four Freedoms that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt espoused and is memorialized in the State of New York by the great Park on Roosevelt Island.

As an attorney by trade, a former professor of Constitutional Law, and as the president of the Borough of Queens, where 48 percent of our 2.3 million residents were born outside the United States, I hold all these principles to be “self-evident.”

Today, however, all of it – including the character of our nation – is being tested.

As a mother, as an American, and as a woman of faith, our nation’s broken immigration laws and policies shake me to my core. It keeps me up at night to imagine having my 7-year-old urgently memorize a phone number, knowing that once he is ripped away from my arms indefinitely into the unknown, his ability to remember those precious 10 digits will be the only lifeline to connect to any family. It wrenches my heart to imagine the horror of my child locked up behind a chain-linked cage, and not having any way to contact or track him, much less know where or how he is.

Even in a Sanctuary City like New York, broad raids and sweeps of immigration enforcement – even of those without a criminal record – have successfully spread fear and imposed a chilling effect on everyday activities and responsibilities.

This is an issue that transcends any debate about immigration or borders. Such cruelty betrays the American narrative. It is a barbaric, xenophobic immigration policy unfitting of the greatest and most powerful nation in the world. Set forth by President Trump, this government-sanctioned nightmare is wreaking terror upon millions of families, including American citizens.

To separate families like this challenges and compromises our humanity. With one action by the president, this horrifying reality can come to a halt. We must not and will not rest until then.

In the meantime, Queens will continue to do everything possible to help counteract the hostility of the current political climate. We are a nation of immigrants, and Queens is about all of our families’ futures. Next week, I am hosting a “Know Your Rights Week” for immigrants in partnership with a host of organizations and colleagues in local government. The legal advice is free and confidential, available at five events across five neighborhoods between June 25-29 designed to connect our various communities to committed legal experts, advocates and other resources. Queens has your back.

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Stopalready from Queens says:
Oh please spare me! I'm all for immigration but in the legal way! The usa cant even take care of their veterans, let alone take in millions of people with who knows what intentions. Who is going to pay for all these children's medical care and education? You think that the taxpayers should have to foot the bill for illegal people? You dont think that Americans dont get crushed enough with taxes? Especially here in NYC? Seriously?
Heres an idea, instead of sending out military overseas, we should be sending them south of the border to go after gangs and druglords. Or how about this? Put sanctions on those countries south of us until they clean up their countries. Stop letting America be a doormat and stop putting burden on hardworking taxpayers. If they fought their own governments as hard as they fought the usa government, then maybe their countries can start moving in the right direction.
Also, stop blaming trump, this mess did not start with him. This mess has been going on for quite some time now and not one person spoke out against illegals for decades. Its time to overhaul our entire immigration system and rebuild. We can't keep laws in place that were made over 30 years ago. And btw, over 30 years ago, we were promised a wall after the last huge immigration overhaul back in I believe was 1986 when we gave people here Illegally Citizendhip. And look at where that's gotten us. No wall and still no security at our borders.
June 22, 5:50 am
Stopalready from Queens says:
Heres an article from AP that proves this has been going on for a while:

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

Multiple detainees as young as 14 said guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads. The incidents described in the lawsuit occurred from 2015 to 2018, during both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Since 2007, about half the 58 beds are occupied by both male and female immigrants between the ages of 12 and 17 facing deportation proceedings. Though incarcerated in a facility similar to a prison, the immigrant children have not yet been convicted of any crime.
June 22, 6:06 am
Stopalready from Queens says:
Here is the Mexican law on illegals to their country:
The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?

If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam, and prove they can provide their own health care.

Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country 
June 22, 6:14 am
Dwayne says:
Funny that the do-nothing zip-zero Katz woman didn't bleat out one word when ohbama 'separated' more people then deported them in greater numbers than bill clinton and bush combined. Neither did the vile Katz utter or bray one single word when ohbama had those illegal kids placed in actual cages. Give us a break with that false and fabricated krap. "look at me look at me everybody looook at meeee", says the Katz woman.
June 22, 8:08 am
Stop lying from queens says:
People who come here illegally are now alleged to be criminals. This means that they are subject to incarceration. That means that they are separated from their families, including children. This is no different from when American citizens are arrested. Nobody is ripping children away from legal immigrants or for that matter, illegal residents. Stop lying. It is disgusting. You should be banned from this publication.
June 22, 1:38 pm
regoQueens from queens says:
The real 'separation' is a coffin and 6 feet under. Just ask any parent whose child was murdered by an illegal intruder. Times Ledger outed as a fake-news enterprise. No wonder your papers sit in hallways untouched.
June 25, 7:15 am

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