Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Honorable Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor of New York
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
It is with great satisfaction that I extend my utmost gratitude for your decision to suspend the federal Secure Communities (S-Comm) program. Immigration reform starts at home, and although it is important to raise awareness and enact proactive policies, we must also curb any unjust practices that are taking placing here in New York. By suspending S-Comm, you have proven your dedication to the safety and well-being of our communities.
By stopping a program that ostensibly targets violent criminals, but largely affects innocent individuals and families, your decision has already begun to restore the community’s trust in law enforcement, and upholds New York’s tradition of protecting human, civil, and immigrant rights. New York’s position on this issue will undoubtedly inspire other states involved with the program to follow our lead, as Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts did recently when he declined to sign the S-Comm Memorandum of Agreement.
I applaud the strong commitment you have made to immigrants throughout your career as an elected official. New York State today faces a number of great challenges, including economic revitalization, community safety, and educational progress. Rather than subordinate the immigrant rights agenda, we must view it as part and parcel of these larger battles. We have a unique opportunity to not just improve the lives of immigrant families here in New York State, but to emerge as a beacon and compass for the rest of the United States. I’d like to, once again, thank you for your leadership and for your responsible decision to suspend New York’s participation in the ineffective and divisive Secure Communities program.
José M. Serrano