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Tag: Immigrant rights

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June 15, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

Arab community welcomes historic announcement

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Brooklyn, NY June 15th, 2012 – The Arab American Association of New York commends the Obama administration for their announcement today granting relief to undocumented youth from deportation and the opportunity to work legally in the United States. Eligibility is as follows:

  • came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  • has continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum (6/15/2012) and is present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  • is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  • has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety;
  • and is not above the age of thirty

Those not in deportation proceedings will be allowed to apply for deferred action, which will be valid for two years and may be renewable.

“We are overwhelmed with excitement as to what this announcement means for the young Arab and Muslim undocumented youth and their families,” said Linda Sarsour, Executive Director at the Arab American Association of New York. “This relief for Dreamers didn’t come easily- it took years of tireless efforts and dedication from advocates and undocumented youth across the nation. We never gave up.”

“Today I called a local 17-year-old undocumented Arab youth in Brooklyn that I have known for six years to tell him the great news. He fell silent, and told me he couldn’t talk right now. Twenty minutes later, he showed up at my office to tell me in person that I was the first person who has ever made him cry from joy,” said Linda Sarsour. “It meant so much to him and to his family, and I was ecstatic to be the one to give him this great news that he deserves.”

While we welcome this monumental announcement, our immigrant rights movement is not shortsighted. We will continue to push the Administration to reform our entire immigration system and end mass deportation programs like Secure Communities and 287(g). We want to ensure that we keep families united and provide a pathway to citizenship to the many hardworking immigrants that contribute to this great nation.

Arab American Youth in Albany for the immigrants day of action in March 2012

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March 21, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

AAANY Goes to Albany to Support the DREAM Act

On March 14th, the Arab American Association of New York joined forces with the New York Immigration Coalition at the state’s capital to push for the passage of the New York State DREAM Act, among other unifying concerns. The trip to Albany was dubbed an Immigrants’ Day of Action and provided an opportunity for community members to speak directly with state legislatures and explain how the passage of the act would impact their communities. Over 1000 people came out for the day. The DREAM Act would ensure that all students graduating from New York public schools are eligible for financial assistance in higher education regardless of their immigration status. Last Wednesday, a group from the South Brooklyn community met bright and early at the Arab American Association and loaded a bus to Albany. South Brooklyn high school and college students, as well as potential “Dreamers,” joined community members, parents, and activist in the Day of Action. The group participated in a morning rally with other New York immigrant rights advocacy groups outside the state capital building. Activists and politicians explained how the act would benefit immigrant communities and the state of New York while members of the Arab American Association held signs supporting education equality. In the afternoon, our group met with our local representatives, Assembly Woman Nicole Malliotakis and Senator Marty Golden in an effort to convince them to sign on to the DREAM Act. Students shared their personal stories of how they attended New York public schools, yet were unable to pursue higher education. This trip provided a great opportunity for the South Brooklyn community to engage in politics and influence policies that will directly affect their community. We look forward to continuing to engage our community in local and state politics! -Katherine Kusiak Carey