Brooklyn Councilmembers Jumaane Williams and Dr. Mathieu Eugene have joined other officials in extending congratulatory greetings to the government and people of Jamaica on the island’s 53rd anniversary of political independence from Great Britain.
“Big up to everyone in the Jamaican Diaspora!” said Williams, deputy leader and chair of the City Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee.
“Fifty-three years ago today, the Union Jack was ceremoniously lowered and replaced by the Jamaican flag. As a proud ‘Spice Island’ (Grenada) descendant and representative of a vibrant Caribbean community, I would like to congratulate our Jamaican brothers and sisters as they celebrate their independence,” added the representative for the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.
“Jamaicans have made invaluable contributions to our city, state and country, and, like anyone else in this nation, also deserve a fair, and just immigration system,” he continued.
Williams said he was “proud” that President Obama visited the country earlier this year, “which allowed our government to engage and support the socio-economic success of this country.”
The councilman noted that, under the Bush Administration, the U.S. implemented “regressive immigrant deportation policies that directly affected Caribbean immigrants and led to an enormous rise in crime.
“I’m encouraged that the Obama Administration is making headway on these issues, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done in New York City to fight for common sense immigration reform,” Williams said.
By creating IDNYC, the city’s new, free municipal identification card, Williams said the Council has “made it easier for every city resident, including undocumented immigrants, to receive the benefits they deserve.
“I encourage all of New Yorkers to join me in becoming an IDNYC card holder, which will aid in creating a more dynamic, unified New York,” he said.
“As we mark this day, rest assured that New York City will continue to fight for the rights of Jamaica and the entire Caribbean Diaspora,” Williams added. “Happy Independence Day!”
In a brief statement, Eugene, who represents the 40th Council District in Brooklyn, said it was also “an honor to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of this very important day.
“As a proud Haitian immigrant, I have so much respect for all of my Jamaican brothers and sisters,” he said.
“You truly make our community special, and your hard work to keep our neighborhood great does not go unnoticed,” Eugene added. “Enjoy this joyous day. Always remember Aug. 6, 1962.”