Immigration :

Dream ActWESPAC is a member of the Hudson Valley Community Coalition which is working hard to change the public discourse around immigration: http://hvccoalition.org

WESPAC fully supports this campaign and we will be reaching out to our community partners to sign on.  This Town Hall scheduled for next Tuesday will be a great opportunity for us to learn more about the campaign as we move to promote this urgently needed fund for excluded workers:

“Please save the date for our Excluded Worker Organization Townhall that we will be holding in partnership with the Fiscal Policy Institute next Tuesday, Sept, 29th from 6:30pm-7:30pm. Don’t miss this statewide exploration of New York’s need. RSVP for the town hall here. For more information about the Excluded Worker Fund, visit our campaign website here. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!
 
Thank you,”
 
Vanessa Agudelo
 

Vanessa Agudelo

Manager of Member Engagement- Hudson Valley

She/They

 

The New York Immigration Coalition

1132 Main St., Suite 1 & 2

Peekskill, NY 10566

(914) 482-1241 (cell)

nyic.org

Now, more than ever, New Yorkers must stand united against fear and xenophobia, and our elected officials must stand ready to ensure every New Yorker across the state can access the essential services they need to keep their families safe and secure, regardless of legal status.

The New York Immigration Coalition, and our members, partners and allies, call on all levels of government to immediately enact these common sense measures to ensure immigrants across the state can remain safe and healthy.

 
This week, to collectively raise our voices around our federal needs, we will be engaging in a social media campaign and invite you all to join us. This toolkit contains messaging for the #NYUnited campaign asks at the federal level targeting Senator Schumer to take action to protect immigrant New Yorkers.
 
To amplify our efforts most effectively, please use the toolkit above to craft your message and post on your various organizational or personal social media pages during both dates & times below:
 

Day of Action #1 (Tier 1):  May 13th from 12:00PM-1:00PM

Day of Action #2 (Tier 2):  May 15th from 12:00PM-1:00PM

Feel free to share with your networks. 
 
In solidarity,
 
Vanessa

Vanessa Agudelo

Manager of Member Engagement- Hudson Valley

She/Her

PANEL DISCUSSION
Police, ICE and Immigrant Safety in Westchester County


Tuesday, October 22nd at 6pm • Yonkers Riverfront Library • 1 Larkin Center in Yonkers, NY 10701

PANELISTS

Joseph Castelli
Police Chief, White Plains Police Department

John J. Mueller
Acting Police Commissioner, Yonkers Police Department

Richard Conway
Chief of Police, Port Chester Village

Jessica Young, Esq.
Westchester Supervising Attorney, Make the Road New York

Diana Sanchez
Yonkers Sanctuary Movement

Vanessa Agudelo (moderator)
Peekskill Trustee & New York Immigration Coalition

For more information, contact:
914-222-3244 • wcprny.org [email protected]

For all details please visit: https://www.westchestersocialforum.org/

New York’s top prosecutors, public defenders and advocates are rightly speaking out against a pernicious Trump administration policy that encourages Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to roam the halls of state courthouses with the goal of targeting and arresting immigrants attending to official court business.

As documented by the Immigrant Defense Project, there was a 1,100% increase in incidence of ICE courthouse arrests in New York in 2017 from the previous year.

Immigrants are now afraid to attend court in any capacity — as defendants, plaintiffs, witnesses, victims or supportive family members. This impedes justice.

New York is not helpless in the face of President Trump’s harsh immigration enforcement machine. We believe that courthouse arrests are not only bad policy — they are also unconstitutional. Therefore, we urge the state’s top judicial official, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, and the Office of Court Administration she leads to immediately adopt rules to restrict these civil arrests in New York’s courthouses.

“Everyone, regardless of their immigration status or the status of their loved ones, should have access to equal justice under the law,” state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in speaking out against courthouse arrests.

It’s not a platitude. The principle that equal justice requires access to court dates back to 18th century common law, which barred civil arrests for people attending court. In more recent iterations, the Supreme Court has recognized that the Constitution requires that “access to the courts is adequate, effective and meaningful.”

ICE’s policy of intimidation in effect closes the courthouse doors to immigrants. This not only tramples their rights — the Constitution isn’t only for citizens — but also infringes on the rights of people who may require immigrant witnesses in court to effectively present their cases.

 Federal immigration enforcement officials claim that courthouse arrests are necessary for safety and efficiency, but this reflects a shortsighted view of what public safety means. The reality is that when immigrants are afraid to show up in court, our city becomes less safe.

New York City is home to 3.3 million immigrants, who, even if they have legal status, may fear the presence of ICE officers.

Our courts cannot function when 40% of our population believes that if they show up, they may suddenly be dragged off in handcuffs to face unrelated deportation proceedings.

New York must no longer let its justice system be used as a hunting ground. State courts throughout the nation, including in New York, routinely implement rules to ensure order and access to justice for litigants and witnesses. New York should implement rules like those proposed by the Immigrant Defense Project and others, which would flatly prohibit civil arrests in the courthouse unless the arresting officer has a judicial warrant or order, and prevent court resources from being used to assist ICE.

Rules like these are important, timely uses of courts’ longstanding authority to regulate judicial spaces. While the public nature of the courthouses is often held as sacrosanct, this has never meant that those who visit them are free from regulation. On the contrary, the New York State Court of Appeals has repeatedly recognized “the inherent power of the court to preserve order and decorum in the courtroom, to protect the rights of parties and witnesses, and generally to further the administration of justice.”

New York courts have accordingly upheld rules restricting the courthouse presence of bail bondsmen, the press and even the general public when necessary to prevent interference with proceedings and prejudice to litigants. The disruption and chilling effect of courthouse arrests surely meets the same standard.

The fact that a rule restricting civil arrests in courthouses would apply to a law enforcement agency, and a federal one at that, does nothing to diminish New York courts’ authority in this respect. In fact, many courts have adopted rules, such as restrictions on carrying firearms, that regulate law enforcement officers’ conduct within courthouses.

As long as ICE threatens the sanctity of our state courthouses, New York has an obligation to push back — to ensure meaningful access to justice for all those who may have concerns about their immigration status, but rely on our courts to vindicate their rights to protection, child custody, housing and a fair defense in criminal proceedings.

Ultimately, New York not only has the authority to prevent this threat to the administration of justice in its courts, it has a duty to do so for the many New Yorkers who depend on them.

Morawetz is a professor of clinical law at NYU School of Law. Nash is a visiting assistant clinical professor of law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Please share widely:

 
 The Westchester Social Justice Community, a network of progressive groups, will gather for the 8th weekly Justice Monday on Monday, March 20th from 12-1 pm at the Renaissance Plaza Fountain at the corner of Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue in downtown White Plains. The weekly rallies include speakers who highlight the pressing issue of the week, as well as community members who have personal experiences to share. The goal of the gatherings is to engage with the public in a common space at a time when our basic rights are being threatened by policies of the new administration.

Rally with us on Monday, March 20th at 12 noon in downtown White Plains to support public education in our next installment of Justice Mondays! 

Our vital institution, a cornerstone of our democracy, is under attack at every level. The Trump/DeVos agenda at the federal level, along with the push in Albany to send our tax dollars to charter, private and religious schools together pose an existential threat to public education. Silence equals acceptance. Join us to fight back!

Please share the Facebook event widely: https://www.facebook.com/events/254399864963585/

Groups that are part of the Westchester Social Justice Community: 

Call to Action Hudson Valley: Syrian Refugee Crisis: https://www.facebook.com/calltoactionhv/

Community Voices Heard: www.cvhaction.org

Concerned Families of Westchester: https://www.facebook.com/ConcernedFamiliesofWestchester/

Food & Water Watch: https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/state/new-york

Hudson Valley Community Coalition: http://hvccoalition.org/

Knowdrones.com: https://www.knowdrones.com/

Lower Hudson Valley Progressive Action Network: https://www.facebook.com/LHVPAN/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE

Mount Vernon United Tenants: http://mvut.org/

Indivisible Rivertowns: https://www.facebook.com/groups/indivisiblewestchesterrivertowns/

Indivisible Westchester: http://www.indivisiblewestchester.org/

Prevent Gun Violence—Westchester: http://www.preventgunviolence.org/

Sustainable Port Chester Alliance: https://www.facebook.com/portchesteralliance/

Up and Up Action Initiative: https://www.facebook.com/UUAction/?fref=ts

Walkabout Clearwater: https://walkaboutclearwater.org/music/home.php

WESPAC Foundation: https://wespac.org/

Westchester for Change: https://www.facebook.com/groups/westchester4change/

 
 

Membership 1Membership 2

LHVCLU Farmworker Justice

The New York State Farmworker Fair Labor Act (S.1743/A.1792) will, when enacted, allow for basic labor protections many of us take for granted: overtime pay, disability insurance and the right to collective bargaining – rights which the New Deal guaranteed a most workers decades ago, excluding farmworkers. The individuals who cultivate and pick the items we consume daily deserve the same rights as the rest of us. Our speakers will reveal how food justice models can turn our meals into an act of activism and a way to preserve the dignity of our workers. Join us to learn more about how policy, or the absence of one, intersects with our daily living! Action items will be presented on how local efforts can make these reforms a reality.

 

Speakers:        Gerardo Gutierrez, NYC Justice for Farmworkers Campaign

                      Sarah Ahmed, Student Farmworker Alliance

                      Douglass DeCandia, Local Farmer for the Westchester Food Bank

                      Guisela Marroquín, Community Organizer, Lower Hudson Valley NYCLU

 

When:          Sunday, October 26

2:00 – 4:00PM

Where:        Fordham University – Westchester Campus

400 Westchester Avenue

West Harrison, NY 10604

RSVP:          Space is limited so please contact us at –

[email protected] or 914-997-7479

 

SPONSORED BY:

                           New York Civil Liberties Union and WESPAC Foundation

 

Let's join them in action for the NY Dream Act from home.Pick up that phone and make the call to Silver and let him know you stand with undocumented youth and support the NY Dream Act.

 

The NY Dream Act is currently being held in the Governmental Operations Committee in the Assembly. Please call the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and ask him to put up the NY Dream Act (A6829/S4179) for a vote in the Assembly, then call the Chair of the Governmental Operations committee and ask him to move the NY DREAM Act through the committee, see the numbers below.

 

Sample script: “I'm calling to urge that (legislators name) support the NY DREAM Act and allow undocumented students to be given an equal opportunity to the tuition assistance program, please move the NY DREAM Act to the floor for a vote ”

 

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

NYC office: 212-312-1420 / Albany: 518-455-3791

 

Chair, Governmental Operations Committee

Steve Englebright

Albany: 518-455-4804 / District office: 631-751-3094

 

SAVE the DATE & Attend the Urgent Count Down NY Dream Act Rally

WHEN: Wednesday, June 6th from 2-6pm  

WHERE: 250 Broadway, New York, NY 10007. Map

For more questions contact us at [email protected]