Make the Road Wants More Progress, Reported by City Limits

Posted on February 7, 2019

CityViews: It Will Take More Than the Dream Act for NY to Truly Welcome Immigrants

Originally Published in City Limits on February 7, 2019
Written by Joselyn Castillo

today, I’m joining hundreds of immigrants and working-class people of color from Make the Road New York head to Albany to ensure the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo deliver concrete policies to protect all New Yorkers and ensure equal opportunities for all, which we’ve laid out in our #HeretoStay platform this week.

In early January, the New York Dream Act passed the State Senate and Assembly. This historic legislation will open the doors to higher education to hundreds of students, regardless of immigration status, and it showed the strength of the youth-led fight for justice over the past decade. But passing Dream alone is not enough for legislators or the governor to check off the box and say enough has been done for our communities.

First, to truly stand up for immigrants, New York must restore driver’s licenses for all, regardless of immigration status. New York must also pass universal rent control. Our students also need protections from racial disparities in school discipline. These are not, of course, our communities’ only priorities. Black, Brown, and transgender people need police accountability legislation. Families need additional resources for public schools, adult education, civil legal services, and health care. And voters need automatic voter registration and a public financing system that levels the playing field so all voices can be heard.

Our communities stand up every day to say that we are here to stay. Now it’s time for legislators and the governor to take bold, progressive action to show us that they hear our voices.

Joselyn Castillo is a member of Make the Road New York, the largest grassroots community organization in New York offering services and organizing the immigrant community.

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