Immigration: Mayor de Blasio Deplores Surpreme Court Non-action

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Mayor de Blasio

Excerpts of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's comments following the 4-4 Supreme Court vote on President Obama's executive action to prevent deportations of undocumented young immigrants. The vote lets stand a lower court ruling blocking Obama's action.

[With] the stroke of a pen, the hopes of millions have been dashed. So many people who are just trying to achieve what so many of us have come to expect, have now seen that taken away from them.

These individuals around me are living proof of the good that DACA and DAPA did for people. Families that had to live in fear and doubt, having their problems resolved, their hopes affirmed – that’s what it’s supposed to be about. And the notion that now a road block has been thrown up by our own Supreme Court – it’s a shocking day and a sad day for all immigrants in this country, and it feels like a step away from our values.

President Obama did the right thing for this nation and we are resolved today to be inspired by his actions, to not be deterred, to [inaudible] for comprehensive immigration reform. There is a way to recapture the high ground and get the momentum back, and that’s to push with all we have in the next Congress and with a new President for comprehensive immigration reform.

And in that process, we will remind Americans that it was the Republican party that stood in the way of all previous efforts at reform, has stood in the way of our opportunity to create a more perfect union, and they will be held accountable starting next year, because I think there’s a growing consensus in this country about the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

What does it mean for New York City?

220,000 New Yorkers would have immediately benefited had President Obama’s executive action been affirmed. So, it’s almost a quarter-million of our fellow New Yorkers who are hurting right now, whose rights and opportunities were taken away by our Supreme Court. And, again, it’s an affront to our values, but we don’t just get mad, we organize. We’re going to work together – everyone here – to right this wrong.

And I want to thank everyone who’s here. I want to thank Deputy Mayor Richard Buery; and Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal; Commissioner for Social Services Steve Banks; Commissioner for Veterans Services Loree Sutton. I want to thank Senator Adriano Espaillat.

I want to thank Chair Carlos Menchaca, of the Council Committee on Immigration; Councilman Ben Kallos; Councilman Dan Garodnick. I think others will be joining – and all the advocates, all the faith leaders, all the community organizations who are part of this gathering today. Also, a thank you to Deputy Mayor Herminia Palacio and Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez.

We’re here, and we’re here on short notice, because it means so much to all of us. We’re all convinced that a major mistake was made by our Supreme Court. By the way, one of the things that makes this clear to me is – I’ve worked with mayors all over the country. We had over 100 mayors sign onto the amicus brief in favor of the executive action because the leaders in every part of this country who know their communities best, knew the executive action would help our people. Well, we will continue in that effort.

And, in the meantime, the City of New York will offer support and services to our immigrant brothers and sisters, the our fellow New Yorkers. We will not be in any way forced off that path. We believe in this city, in things like providing legal services so families don’t get torn apart. We believe in IDNYC, respecting all New Yorkers and giving them opportunities to live a better life.

And we want our brother and sister immigrants to know that if they need help, and they particularly want to make sure that the help they get is legal and appropriate, and that no one attempts to take advantage of them, all they have to do is call 3-1-1, and just say DACA or DAPA, and they’ll be connected to someone who can help them.

Or, go on our website nyc.gov/deferredaction to get the help they deserve.

We are a city of immigrants and proud of it, and we will not accept anyone who demeans immigrants. We won’t give in to the voices of hatred that have come up so strongly in this country this year attacking immigrants.

We will remain true to New York values and defend immigrants, defend the rights of those who are here, and one day – one day we’ll make this nation whole with true comprehensive immigration reform.

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