Some 700 immigrants from diverse communities rallied at the New York State Capitol in Albany on Tuesday to ensure that key services supporting their communities are not cut out of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget.
Immigrants make up a quarter of the state’s workforce and are advocating for ten budget and policy priorities that range from affordable housing, language access for government services, education funding for English language learners, ending Secure Communities and maintaining health care programs.
The speakers at the rally conceded that New York is in a tough fiscal climate, but maintained that is all the more reason to help immigrant workers who drive the economy.
“Like everywhere across the country, New York is at a crossroads. It can lead the way by implementing policies that make government more effective, efficient, and responsive; and by recognizing that smart investments pay dividends, while wholesale cuts exact too great a price,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, in a statement.
Many familiar faces from New York’s immigrant political scene spoke at the rally including State Senators Jose Serrano, Gustavo Rivera, Jose Peralta, Adriano Espaillat, and Tony Avella, plus Assembly member Guillermo Linares and Alphonso David, Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights and Labor Relations.