More than 500 New Yorkers participated in Make the Road New York’s (MRNY) Walk for Justice, a walkathon to raise money and promote justice for low-income and Latino immigrant communities in the five boroughs.
The walk on Sunday, September 19 started at the Northern Playground on 93rd Street and Northern Boulevard in Corona at 10:30 a.m. The walkers travelled through Elmhurst and Corona, two of the most diverse immigrant neighborhoods in Queens.
A new federal program called Secure Communities makes many residents of New York feel anything but safe.
Piloted in 2008, the policy requires local police to share the fingerprints of everyone they arrest with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, and to detain and deport those who are here without visas. Secure Communities has been implemented in 33 states and will take effect in New York this fall, unless residents at the state or municipal level are given the choice to opt out.
“As a Dominican American who represents one of the most diverse communities in this country, I applaud Judge Susan Bolton of Federal District Court’s decision to issue an injunction against Arizona’s divisive immigration enforcement law. Allowing any governing body to legalize racial profiling is appalling and flies in the face of our core belief of “innocent until proven guilty”.
"I applaud the mayor's decision to bring in new leadership at the Human Rights Commission. Instead of tackling the thousands of citizen-initiated complaints it receives annually, for the past several years HRC was disproportionately focusing its limited resources on fining businesses for using unintentionally gendered language in job recruiting advertisements," (i.e. posting an ad for a ‘waitress’ or ‘hostess’).
“Of the 53 discrimination settlements reported by the Commission in 2014, 18, or more than a third of all settlements, are for this sort of case. Of those 18, only two appear to have been tested to show actual discriminatory intent. There is a similar pattern in 2012 and 2013, where employment ads allegedly showing gender discrimination made up 40% and 30% of total settlements respectively and only a few were tested to prove actual discriminatory intent.
"Many of the cases don’t come out of actual complaints, but rather from college students getting paid by HRC to troll on-line classifieds.
"It is extremely troubling that this kind of questionable case comprises a third or more of the Commission’s enforcement output when so many complaints of actual discrimination go unanswered.
“New Yorkers expect and deserve a Human Rights Commission that helps bring justice to those who have been wronged, not one focused on generating revenue through petty fines.”