There's a lot the City and State can do to welcome new New Yorkers
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Yesterday I stood with labor, asylum seekers, small businesses, and my colleagues in government to implore the federal government to take action on work authorization for our new New Yorkers. There is no reason anyone should be denied the ability to provide for themselves and their families as they undergo the immigration process.
Managing this situation requires every level of government to collaborate. New Yorkers are tired of the finger-pointing, and they want to see their leaders effectively manage this crisis. While we do need the federal government to step up, there is a lot we can do to make New York healthier, safer, and more livable for all of us.
** Here are a few ideas:
Housing: Unfortunately, the housing crisis does not discriminate. Legalizing basement apartments, passing Good Cause, and allowing our Building Trade unions to build truly affordable housing are necessary steps to make NYC home for all of us.
Education: The first day of school is next week, and we are welcoming 19,000 new students into our school system. We need to staff up on school nurses, social workers, and bilingual educators to make sure we are helping these children and all children succeed. We can also extend childcare support so that ALL New Yorkers have a safe and nurturing place to leave their child.
Labor: While it is true that we cannot grant work permits, we do have options. The City can finally formalize and regulate the street vending system and thereby bring order to a sector that has long been ignored. We can pass my bill to ban e-verify and create a pathway for day laborers to enter safe, family-sustaining construction work. The Department of Labor can strengthen wage theft enforcement to ensure that immigrant workers who are frequently targets of unscrupulous employers can hold onto every penny they earn.
Healthcare: We can pass Coverage For All - creating access to insurance for people going through the immigration process in a way that does not cost the State any money.
These are just a few ideas - and there are many more! This moment requires substantive governance and collaboration. We don't have to wait to be saved.
Thanks for your support,
P.S. I'll never stop fighting for a New York that lifts from the bottom. If you're in a place to do so, please consider making a contribution of any amount to help me continue fighting for working families. ([link removed]) I'm so grateful for your support.
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Ramos for State Senate . 37-15 79th Street . Jackson Heights, NY 11372 . USA