NEWBURGH — Dozens gathered in the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, Sunday, to celebrate last month’s passage of a bill in New York State that would grant undocumented immigrants’ driver’s licenses, in an event that was organized by the nonprofit organization Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson.
The bill has generated controversy from both political parties, but attendees did not pay much attention to the backlash.
The nonprofit’s lead organizer Ignacio Acevedo was thrilled for the new law, known as the Green Light bill.
“The meaning for the community in particular is being able to survive without being scared of being separated from your family. I’m a citizen, so not being worried for my family gives me peace of mind.”
Acevedo understands the backlash towards the law but recognizes its benefits.
“Whatever you think otherwise, do you not want to have your kids go to a better school? Do you not want to have your roads to be taken care of? All that money is going to come for that.”
Event organizer Vanessa Cid of Middletown believes that detractors of the new law need to educate themselves on its benefits.
“They are very uneducated; they don’t know much about the matter because why would you be against something where everyone comes out winning,” she said. “Educate yourself before you mislead people with information.”
The event took place as raids were being held across the country, including in New York City, by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) targeting undocumented immigrants.
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is a grassroots organization founded in 2012 to address systematic issues that pose a threat to the livelihood of working class people of color in the Hudson Valley.