NYIC denounces exclusion of protections for Caribbean immigrants – Carib Vibe Radio

NYIC denounces exclusion of protections for Caribbean immigrants

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), an umbrella policy and advocacy organization that represents over 200 immigrant and refugee rights groups throughout New York State, has condemned what it says is the exclusion of protections for Caribbean and other immigrants from the bipartisan US$1.7 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2023 that passed in the United States House of Representatives.

   The legislative package, known on Capitol Hill as the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, passed the House, with 225 votes in favor and 201 against, with one legislator voting present. 

NYIC said on Monday that, while the US Congress passed the measure that included US$16.5 billion in funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), US$8.4 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and US $800 million in funding to support asylum seekers, it failed to provide permanent protections for Dreamers, immigrants who came to America with their parents as young children, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, such as Haitians. 

NYIC said this bill “allows for an increase in funding to police immigrant communities while offering little protection to asylum seekers.”

It, therefore, demanded that US President Joe Biden expand additional protections for new immigrants, “and ensure that Dreamers and TPS holders secure a pathway to citizenship.” 

Murad Awawdeh, NYIC’s executive director, told Caribbean Life that the passage of the omnibus bill “leaves our immigrant communities excluded from any meaningful protections or relief by Congress, and is a failure of America’s humanitarian responsibilities. 

“We applaud the inclusion of US$800 million in funding for asylum seekers as a first step in meeting our moral and humanitarian obligation to provide refuge to those fleeing persecution and hardship,” he said. “But it carries limited meaning when racist policies, like ‘Title 42 and Remain in Mexico’, continue to be used to keep America from meeting its humanitarian obligations. 

“As Congress allocates $16.5 billion for CBP and $8.4 billion for ICE, the priorities of our elected leaders are clear: to police and demonize our communities, treating people who are simply seeking freedom and safety as political prey,” he added. 

“Beyond the US$800 million in funding for asylum seekers, President Biden has a responsibility to expand meaningful protections for new arrivals, rather than persecuting those seeking refuge, to ensure America fulfills its promise of opportunity,” Awawdeh continued. “President Biden must also ensure that Dreamers, TPS holders, and all those who call our country home secure a pathway to citizenship, so no one is left behind in gaining deserved permanent protections.”

But Caribbean American Democratic Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke said that she voted in favor of the spending bill, saying that the package also contains US$17,816,141 in funding for community projects that she championed for 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York. 

   Clarke, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life that the measure provides “significant funding” for several of her priorities. 

“The crucial funding for local projects included in the FY23 (Fiscal Year 2023) appropriations government funding responds directly to some of the most pressing needs throughout New York’s 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn,” said Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. 

  “Time and time again, the good people of Brooklyn have proven that, when they are provided the tools for success and the resources to reach it, they always will,” added the senior member of both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Committee on Homeland Security, where she serves as chair of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation Subcommittee. 

“I am proud to announce that 15 community projects dear to me, and invaluable to our community, will receive significant funding for their continued growth and development with the passage of our FY23 appropriations bill,” the congresswoman continued. “Brooklyn is a special family, and it is on an inexorable trajectory towards something bigger. “I consider it the blessing and privilege of my career to fight to get it there.”

Biden said the measure “advances key priorities for our country and caps off a year of historic bipartisan progress for the American people.

“This bill is further proof that Republicans and Democrats can come together to deliver for the American people, and I’m looking forward to continued bipartisan progress in the year ahead,” he added.

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