City Council Proposes Bill To Protect Undocumented Immigrants
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The City Council is proposing a new bill that will protect undocumented immigrants from being deported.
The bill will be introduced in January and will give the New York City Police Department greater discretion when it comes to complying with the federal Secure Communities initiative.
The hope is to keep undocumented immigrants who are no threat to safety and have no criminal records from being turned over the federal government for detainment.
Under the program, the names and fingerprints are put into a national database, no matter how minor the charge.
Lawmakers said that has to change.
"We need comprehensive immigration reform," said City Councilman Jumaane Williams. "We don't need to being going toward the way of Arizona. We need to be going in the opposite direction."
"We're not telling the federal government what to do," said City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito. "We're still in the Secure Communities program, as much as we'd like not to be in it. But we are dictating to our municipal employees in what case that detainer should or should not be honored."
The new law will put stricter guidelines as to whose information will go to immigration officials, depending on the severity of the crimes.
Those who are known gang members or on a terror watch list will automatically be turned over.