Immigrant Rights Groups Protest Budget Cuts at Annual Gathering in Albany


Yesterday, I traveled to Albany to join The New York Immigration Coalition’s 14th annual Immigrants’ Day of Action, a statewide push for improved immigrant services.

Budget cuts look brutal for the coming year.

The state had been spending a paltry $2.1 million per year on services for people applying for US citizenship. That amount looks like it will be cut by a third. There will be a similar cut in state support for literacy programs that serve adult immigrants.

On the positive side, many legislators expressed concern about the state’s participation in the Secure Communities program. Secure Communities is federal program that increases police involvement in immigration enforcement. The legislators were worried both about the program’s impact on police/community relations and about what another unfunded mandate might cost the localities where it is implemented.

Approximately 700 people from 50 organizations participated in the lobby day. My organization, CARECEN, was in attendance, as were other local organizations, including the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, The Workplace Project, the Nassau chapter of the New York State Civil Liberties Union, and the North Fork Spanish Apostolate.

Image courtesy of wallyg via Flickr.

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