TRENTON -- Mayor Doug Palmer issued an executive order yesterday, promising immigrants ["illegal aliens"] they will have access to city services without fear of being hassled, interrogated about their immigrant status or deported.
Here's what the mayor of Trenton, New Jersey has to say. What we need to do is translate this into Spanish and then get the Mexican press - both that in Mexico and that here - to print it:
"This fear, of having your family torn apart, of not having the right documentation on hand at the critical moment, goes against the grain in our city, because we are an open city...
We are a city whose mission explicitly recognizes that, as the people of Trenton have made us guardians of the public trust, we are committed to govern with integrity and fiscal responsibility, to seek excellence in the city's operations, and to serve all the city's people with respect and compassion...
Kids aren't even going to school... [because of immigration raids...] Sick little children aren't being taken to the doctor.
We have not been doing enough. We've got to reach way down into the immigrant community to explain what their rights are. This is an issue that affects everyone. This is a human rights issue.
...It is critically important that we ensure good relationships with all residents in order to get tips and information about actual crimes.
Communities where people are afraid to report crimes are unsafe and unstable... When rape, prostitution, domestic violence, theft, robbery, or beatings occur in the immigrant community, we want our response to be just as timely and as helpful as can be.
In fact, it is both our obligation and the individual immigrant's right.
As an immigrant to Trenton, New Jersey, here are the services to which you have a right:
- Police and fire services
- General medical, mental health and public health services at clinics and emergency medical assistance, nutrition programs, programs for women and infants and children and for the disabled;
- Services dealing with non-conforming landlords, real estate tax payments or water/sewer bills, labor and employment enforcement, and access to the courts, schools, transportation services, shelter services and emergency disaster relief.
Other highlights include:
- Information in city files about an immigrant's status will now be kept confidential, and only disseminated as required by law in the investigation of a case of illegal activity -- other than mere status as an undocumented alien -- or potential terrorist activity.
- City employees other than police officers "shall not inquire about a person's immigration status" unless that information is necessary for the determination of program, service or benefit eligibility."
- Another section ordered that "Citizen children of undocumented parents have the same rights to public benefits as all other U.S. citizens. Undocumented parents may apply for their citizen children."
- Also, "A city employee required to establish the identity of a person seeking city services shall accept as valid photo identification."
Police officers are barred from inquiring about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses, or others who call or approach them for help, unless they are investigating illegal activity.
However, they'll still "continue to cooperate with federal authorities in investigating and apprehending aliens suspected of criminal activity". But, it's gotta be really bad criminal activity. Just be cool and you'll be OK. Now, get a move on!
Immigration2004 · Thu, 12/23/2004 - 09:10 · Importance: 1