Immigration advocates say key bills left on table

Preventing local and state law enforcement from being deputized as immigration enforcement officers and a measure meant to aid immigrants in receiving occupational licensing were two bills left on the table by New York lawmakers this legislative session. And immigration advocates are urging the Legislature to re-consider passage of both proposals if they return to Albany.

The advocacy group in a statement said the bills fell to politics in the final hours of the legislative session, which concluded on Saturday morning with the Democratic-led state Assembly wrapping up its work.

“New York is home to 4.35 million immigrants — 22 percent of our state’s population,” said Eddie Taveras, the political director for the group. “As such, Albany should be doing everything possible to support these integral New Yorkers whom we rely on and deserve dignity, our respect, and expanded economic opportunity. Too often, our elected leaders seek to fix a problem after the damage is done. The end of another session without the passage of these two bills is a costly mistake that illustrates their lack of foresight yet again.”

One bill, known as the New York for All Act by its supporters, is meant to bar the deputizing of local law enforcement officials to carry out efforts by federal immigration authorities like the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency or Customs and Border Protection without a judicial warrant.

The other measure, known as the Empire State Licensing Act, is aimed at the expansion of licensing opportunities for immigrant residents in the state.

“This regrettable failure is due in no small part to the unwillingness of state elected officials to expend political capital on behalf of these crucial measures,” Taveras said.

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