Senator Perkins and the New York State Youth Leadership Council Stand With Immigrants

April 11, 2011

Senator Perkins and the New York State Youth Leadership Council Stand With ImmigrantsThis video clip is of Senator Perkins (D-Harlem) standing with the NYSYLC, a network of undocumented youth, and all immigrants in New York to affirm their humanity.

**Below is a copy of the press release announcing the press conference**

“Undocumented youth in this great state go to school, love their families, participate in their communities, and dream of bright futures. They long to live the American Dream, and they are willing to work hard for it. These youth and their families deserve recognition and justice, not hatred and inequalities” said Senator Bill Perkins. Senator Ball’s hearing today stands in stark contrast to the American values of respect, dignity, and equality. Undocumented youth and their families are not criminals or terrorists. To call immigrants terrorists is to promote hate and violence in our society. Immigrants in New York already face hate-based violence, and it is time to end the rhetoric that contributes to that violence and provide true justice for immigrants.That is why Senator Perkins, Assemblyman Linares, and the NYSYLC have proposed the New York Dream Act, a fair and necessary measure to fully integrate all of our youth into the fabric of our state. The New York Dream Act is narrowly tailored to give youth who have grown up and gone to school in New York the opportunity to give back to our community and our economy. It is time for New York to bring its immigrants out of the shadows and it starts with giving all of our youth the opportunities they deserve. Congressman Charles Rangel (D- 15th CD, Upper Westside, Harlem and Washington Heights) "I want to commend NYS Senator Bill Perkins, NYS Assemblyman Guillermo Linares and all the supporters of this important legislation. These students may be undocumented, but they are not undeserving of an opportunity to complete their education, pay taxes, serve their country and help create jobs. Ignorance, lack of economic opportunity and the constant pitting of one group against another group may seem like a good way to scare up political points, but is as much a danger to our national security as any outside threat. It erodes the foundation of our democracy and the ability of neighbors to work together to meet the challenges that face our nation."“One of New York’s greatest strengths is its vibrant immigrant community. The young adults in our immigrant communities grow up to work, vote, and strengthen our state.  It’s in our best interest to ensure these young adults, who have demonstrated a commitment to education, public service and good moral character, have access to the financial aid, employment opportunities and health insurance coverage they need to remain productive participants in the state.” said State Senator Kevin Parker.Said the NYSYLC, “Senator Ball, we challenge you to come meet us, hear our stories, and see how like children in your own family we are. And we challenge everyone else in NY to learn who undocumented youth truly are and to have a constructive debate on the merits of the bill instead of using hateful rhetoric to demonize other human beings. Don’t hate us for wanting to live up to the promises of our country and our state, embrace us for it”.