Resolution Presented by Senator Serrano Re: Immigration Reform/Arizona Law

José M. Serrano

April 28, 2010

WHEREAS, America, a nation of immigrants, is the greatest nation of the world; and;

WHEREAS, New York State is home to approximately 4.2 million immigrants accounting for 1 in 5 of New York State's residents; and

WHEREAS, immigrants are essential to New York State's economy by contributing approximately $229 billion in annual economic output; and

WHEREAS, for more than a decade our nation has pursued an enforcement-only approach to immigration, an exercise in futility and cruelty which has squandered resources and created a  climate of fear in immigrant communities, which has failed to bring us any closer to a solution for the immigration problems facing our nation; and

WHEREAS, the State of New York and the nation as a whole needs and deserves comprehensive immigration reform which will stop current practices that result in divided families, unneccessary fear in the immigrant community and enforcement practices which are not effective or meaningful; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature of Arizona passed and the Governor of Arizona recently signed into law Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which requires law enforcement to question people about their immigration status and arrest individuals if law enforcement has a "reasonable suspicion" that they are in the country illegally; and
WHEREAS, such a law, if passed in the State of New York, would institute and legitimize a policy of profiling that would infringe upon the civil rights of individuals and families across the State, and would threaten basic notions of decency, justice, and fairness which are essential elements of the American way of life; and

WHEREAS, President Obama has expressed concern over Arizona’s law by characterizing it as “misguided;” and

WHEREAS, the policy encouraged by Arizona’s law is indicative of the need for comprehensive immigration reform, which can only be achieved by a partnership between State and Federal Governments; and

WHEREAS, studies have shown that comprehensive immigration reform with a clear path to citizenship can play a vital role in revitalizing both New York State’s and the United State’s struggling economy; and

WHEREAS, the support for immigration reform transcends party lines, and requires input from all elected officials without regard to political affiliation; now,


RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body denounces any policy, such as the anti-immigrant law recently enacted in the state of Arizona, which encourages racial profiling which places immigrants at risk and hinders law enforcment officials from obtaining the full cooperation they need and currently receive; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this  Legislative Body welcomes and encourages cooperation on all levels of government  to work together to enact immigration policies and laws which are directly germane to the affairs, business, rights, benefits and obligations of New York State and New Yorkers so as to strengthen the family immigration system, provide a clear path to citizenship and revise current enforcement so that human and civil rights are safeguarded; and

RESOLVED,  That  copies  of  this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General of the State of New York, all Members of the New York State Legislature, as well as to President  Barack  Obama, and all members of the New York State Congressional delegation.