NY Immigrant Advocates: All Eyes on New Orleans Hearing

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Antonia Alarcon joined an action in solidarity with President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Reform. Photo courtesy: Make the Road NY.

The fate of President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration is in the hands of a federal appeals court in New Orleans, but plenty of attention is being paid in New York.

Pat Young, program director with the Central American Refugee Center in Brentwood, says there are an estimated 30,000 – 40,000 undocumented immigrants on Long Island alone who stand to benefit from Obama’s Executive action. He says recent events make it clear they need action now.

“On Long Island it’s extremely important, particularly in light of the fact that just a week ago, we had a horrendous hate crime out here, directed against an undocumented immigrant,” says Young.

Suffolk County Police are on the lookout for three suspects who allegedly beat a 42-year-old Guatemalan immigrant in Farmingville who was riding his bicycle home from work. Young says expectations for success in the Fifth Circuit case being heard in New Orleans are low because two of the judges on the three-judge panel issued the earlier ruling which allowed an injunction to remain in force against Obama’s immigration action plan.

Antonio Alarcon, immigration youth adviser with Make the Road New York, took part in an action in Manhattan to coincide with the court hearing. He said the protest was held against conservative donors who support anti-immigration policy, like Renaissance Technology CEO Robert Mercer.

“He’s a billionaire from Long Island and he gave more than $2 million to promote Center For Immigration Studies,” says Alarcon. “They use a lot of anti-immigrant sentiments, such as DAPA and DACA are bad for our communities, which we all know, this is not true”

DACA and DAPA refer to deferred action programs that would delay deportation proceedings for certain undocumented residents. Renaissance Technology declined to comment on the action. The protest took place outside the company headquarters at 800 Third Avenue.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service – NY