KINGSTON – Activists rallied in Midtown Kingston Tuesday afternoon, outside the office of US Rep. John Faso (R, NY-19), to pressure their congressman to work towards immigration reform. The event coincided with similar demonstrations nationwide, including a sit-in outside Trump Tower in New York City.
County legislators Jennifer Berky and Hector Rodriguez
with county Comptroller Elliott Auerbach (center)
Protest sign clearly aimed at Faso
Earlier on Tuesday, President Trump, through Attorney General Jeff Sessions, rescinded the Deferred Action Contingency Act (DACA), potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of immigrant families. The phase-out was put on hold for six months purportedly to give congress time to act.
Faso supports a permanent legislative solution to the problem, attempting to address the issue of undocumented children raised in the United States. He has endorsed two proposals – one offering a pathway to citizenship, the other extending the number of agricultural visas.
Organizer Charlotte Gossett-Navarro of the New York Immigration Coalition thanked and applauded Faso for taking the first step towards reform.
“We need to make sure that he fights for this legislation and make sure it passes, that it doesn’t just become a press release from him,” Gossett-Navarro said. Supporters of the reform bill are also demanding that the law does not get passed with unreasonable conditions attached. “We are not going to use the DACA community as a bargaining chip for more enforcement.”
Ulster County Legislator Hector Rodriguez noted the Dreamers who may not have been born in the US, but have been raised here. “They are Americans in every sense that matters,” he said.
DACA was the result of an executive order by former President Barack Obama, after Congress failed in 2010 to renew the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) – legislation introduced in 2001, granting a pathway to citizenship to young people who were brought to the United States as children without documentation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintains that DACA could not withstand a judicial review. There is a six-month window ending March 5, 2018 allowing lawmakers to pass a new bill.