Andrew's Plan To Support Immigrants in Our Community

New York represents the very best of America because of our rich history of welcoming immigrants from around the world. Southern Brooklyn is and has always been powered by diversity, including growing immigrant communities of Arabic, Chinese, Hispanic, and Russian descent. Immigrants are important contributing members of our community, starting businesses, owning homes, and enriching our communities by sharing their culture and food.

However, strong anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies from Washington have contributed to growing feelings of isolation and fear among our neighbors.  I have been outspoken in defense of refugees and was one of the first people in our neighborhood to condemn the NYPD’s illegal surveillance at mosques. Now is not a time to stay silent -- we must do everything we can so that everyone feels like they belong in our community, regardless of where their family came from or when their family arrived here. As the grandson and great-grandson of immigrants, I will never forget that.

My plan to support immigrants in our community includes:

  • Increasing funding for the Office for New Americans to support the expansion of opportunity centers, which help new Americans find jobs and offer ESOL and citizenship classes, as well as community outreach and other important services.

  • Making driver’s licenses accessible to all immigrants. We put everyone at risk by prohibiting foreign-born New Yorkers from learning the rules of the road and being able to legally drive.

  • Supporting immigrant-owned small businesses and workers by engaging Regional Economic Development Councils to provide low-cost loans, workforce development, and opportunities for government contracting

  • Keeping ICE agents out of our courthouses. Having ICE in our courthouses is a threat to justice and everyone’s public safety. No one in our community should be afraid to report crimes or seek justice in criminal, family, or civil court.

  • Increasing funding for the Immigrant Legal Defense Project to ensure all immigrants have access to representation. It is a discredit to our justice system that children are being forced to represent themselves in court.

  • Expanding financial aid and offering in-state tuition to all students who attend New York high schools for at least four years and are eligible to graduate. It is common sense and a good investment in our future to encourage all New Yorkers to continue their education so they can go on to earn good-paying local jobs.

  • Making our communities safer by protecting the privacy of victims and witnesses of crime and violence by supporting the Liberty Act, which would limit the scope of local agencies’ ability to engage in information collection and sharing with immigration enforcement.

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