Liu, Cruz, Advocates hail signing of bill to prohibit discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 29, 2022
: Soojin Choi | | 347-556-6335


New York, NY- NYS Senator John Liu, NYS Assemblymember Catalina Cruz and advocates applaud Governor Kathy Hochul’s signing of the bill(S6586A/A6328A) to prohibit discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status. This bill, signed on December 23rd,  amends the human rights law to make explicit that discrimination on the basis of citizenship and immigration status is unlawful in New York State. 

The State of New York and its citizens have long held the belief that there are no tolerable forms of discrimination within our state and communities. The NYS Division of Human Rights currently investigates cases in which individuals have been potentially discriminated against due to their national origin. This proposal however would expand these protections, and make clear to employers, housing providers, places of public accommodation, and other relevant entities that discrimination because of citizenship and immigration status is also unlawful in New York State.

Senator Liu said, “We appreciate Governor Hochul for signing this legislation in recognition that our state is made greater by the vast contributions of talented and aspiring people from everywhere in the world who adopt New York as their new home. Unfortunately, even as they pursue the American Dream, they are stymied by obsolete federal laws and byzantine bureaucracies that prolong their path to citizenship and subject them to bias and discrimination. This bill will help provide equal opportunity in employment, housing, and other needs that all New Yorkers should have access to.”

Assembly Member Cruz said, “Our Great State has served as a beacon of hope for immigrants from around the world since its creation. The passing and signing of this bill reflects our most important values and principles and sends a clear message- there is no room for discrimination of any kind in New York.  Sadly, we have seen a dramatic uptick in hate crimes and attacks on immigrants statewide, and our communities deserve this protected status. I want to thank the Governor for signing this bill into law and the advocates for their hard work and support on these critical issues." 

“All New Yorkers should be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness, regardless of their citizenship and immigration status,” said Wayne Ho, President and CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council. “We thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill into law to protect New Yorkers of all backgrounds from discrimination, and we are grateful for State Senator Liu and Assembly Member Catalina Cruz for their leadership. We look forward to continuing to work with community partners and elected officials to make our city a safe and welcoming place for everyone.” 

“This legislation will help ensure that our hard working immigrant community members are safe from discrimination regardless of their immigration status and can continue providing for their families and contributing to the strength and vitality of New York State,” said Thomas Yu, executive director of Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE). “We thank Senator Liu and Assemblymember Cruz for their leadership on this important issue, and Governor Hochul for her commitment to protecting the rights of all New Yorkers,

Diana Park, Immigration Justice Organizer at the MinKwon Center for Community Action, said, “This is an important victory for our community to be seen and heard and in the fight for a pathway to citizenship.1 in 7 Asian American immigrants in New York State are undocumented. As a DACA recipient, I have this platform to speak and be heard but for too long, undocumented community members have lived in their shadows. Living in fear, living in isolation, let this bill thrust light upon them! Thank you to NYS Senator John Liu, NYS Assemblymember Catalina Cruz and advocates for their dedication to the passage of this law that would make it unlawful in the state of New York to discriminate on the basis of citizenship or immigration status in housing, employment, credit, and places of public accommodation.” 

Diana Moreno, Deputy Director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment(NICE), said, “This is a foundational step towards guaranteeing our members can live and work with dignity as we continue to pursue federal changes to our broken immigration system. We commend Governor Hochul and the leadership of Assembly member Cruz and Senator Liu for ensuring immigrants in New York State are protected from discrimination."