A Proposed ‘Budget for the City of Immigrants’
Some of the city budget recommendations put forth by immigration experts include at least $9 million to prepare the city and the immigrant community for the implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive actions, and $300 million to defend tenants from landlord abuse.
“New York, under the leadership of Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, has shown that a city can be a national leader in immigrant integration,” said Javier Valdés, co-executive director of Make the Road NY, when he sent El Diario an advanced copy of the report he will make public today, titled “A Budget for the City of Immigrants.”
“Now is the moment to keep going forward and ensure access to the opportunities and services our communities need,” added Valdés.
The document, which includes more than 30 measures for consideredation in the current city budget debate for 2016, was created by the organizations Make the Road NY and New York Immigration Coalition. It will be delivered today to the mayor, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and other city officials, for their consideration. According to activists, the idea is to establish priorities in services that are critical for immigrants like education, jobs, justice, housing and health care access, among others. “This report is an important first step at identifying some of the barriers that our city’s immigrants face. We hope to work with our city’s elected officials and other community partners to use this as a stepping stone,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. In addition to funds to prepare and educate the city and 37,000 prospective immigration relief beneficiaries, and to guarantee counseling rights for tenants facing possible abuse, the activists proposed more resources to maintain and improve English-learning programs. There are 29,000 seats available for ESL students throughout the city. However, as many as 1,690,000 New York residents have limited knowledge of the language.