Hamilton names office ‘Sanctuary Senate District’

Assemblyman Jesse Hamilton.
Photo by Tequila Minsky

In light of President Trump’s Executive Order putting in jeopardy the rights of immigrant population in New York City and their families Brooklyn Senator Jesse Hamilton has declared his office to be a “Sanctuary Senate District (SSD)” for the term of President Trump’s executive order.

Hamilton said on Thursday that his office will provide services related to and protecting the rights of immigrants, as they face legal challenges to their immigration status, as well as delays in citizenship applications and potential deportation orders based on the misapplication of President Trumps executive order and the US Constitution

“This Sanctuary Senate District Initiative, the Immigrant Defense Coalition, and our continued outreach will assist our immigrant communities through these anxious times,” said Hamilton, who represents the 20th Senatorial District in Brooklyn.

“We have a Trump administration imposing draconian, unjust restrictions and promising more,” he added. “As leaders in a city that has welcomed immigrant communities for hundreds of years, we need to fight back and reassure our immigrant friends and neighbors that we stand together in protecting them.

“Through delivering services in the neighborhood and through advancing immigrant protections in Albany, we reaffirm New York’s longstanding commitment to our immigrant communities,” Hamilton continued.

Bertha Lewis, founder and president of The Black Institute, said: “No vulnerable New York community should live in fear.

“New York’s immigrant communities have already suffered under the attacks of a Trump administration determined to denigrate, defame and deport them,” she said. “Thanks to Senator Hamilton and all the Immigrant Defense Coalition partners for expanding services to a community that has been subject to these Trump attacks.

“In addition to speaking out against these vicious policies, we need to counter Trumps’ damaging executive orders with positive actions here on the ground,” Lewis urged. “This Sanctuary Senate District Initiative will play an important role in advancing exactly such positive actions.”

Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition said: “We applaud our strong ally, Senator Jesse Hamilton, for unapologetically declaring his office a ‘Sanctuary Senate District,’ and opening it up to providing services for immigrants.

“The work of the Immigrant Defense Coalition to ensure that our communities, who are in a time of great fear and anxiety, are given the best possible resources possible is critical,” he said. “The sad truth is that we know that we will continue to hear about families and communities torn apart by a ramp up of enforcement from ICE and more.

“We must push back every time, and it is essential that we truly abide by being a sanctuary city,” he added.

Partnership organizations providing assistance through the Immigrant Defense Coalition include the Vera Institute for Justice, Northern Manhattan Immigration Coalition, New York Immigration Coalition, The Black Institute, Brooklyn Legal Services, Urban Justice Center’s Domestic Violence Project, Caribbean Women’s Health, CAMBA Legal Services, American Friends Services Committee, MFY Legal Services and Central American Legal Assistance.

Hamilton said residents who have questions or issues regarding their immigration status can call the 1-800 number for assistance (1-800-213-6385).

In addition, Hamilton said his office will have on-site specialists on certain days of the month to provide direct support to residents.

He said more than 20 community-based organizations will serve as partners for the “Sanctuary Senate District.”

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