NYCLU Testifies Before United Nations Migrants' Rights Expert on Anti-Immigrant Ordinances

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
May 15, 2007 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – In testimony before the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, the New York Civil Liberties Union expressed concern over the growing movement in towns, cities, and counties across the United States to introduce local anti-immigrant ordinances that attempt to drive out undocumented immigrants and their families, and to punish those who employ or rent to them.

NYCLU Legislative Counsel Udi Ofer explained that recent attempts to locally legislate in the area of immigration law violate the longstanding constitutional principle that immigration regulation is under the sole jurisdiction of the federal government. They also engender anti-immigrant and anti-Latino sentiments, and violate fundamental constitutional protections.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur, Dr. Jorge Bustamante, is visiting the United States to review the conditions of migrants and immigrants. As an independent expert appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council, Bustamante is charged with the mandate to monitor, advise and publicly report on human rights violations in specific countries and worldwide. At last week’s public hearing at New York City’s Cooper Union, Bustamante heard testimony from advocates and affected community members on violations of immigrants’ constitutionally-protected rights, which are being threatened in the street, in the workplace, in local legislatures, and even in people’s homes, as immigrant families are being torn apart by increasingly frequent deportation raids.

“The only way that the proliferation of these ordinances will cease is if the public understands that all immigrants provide valuable cultural, social and economic contributions to American society, and that all immigrants are protected by fundamental civil rights and civil liberties,” Ofer testified.

Click here to read the NYCLU’s testimony.

Click here to read Udi Ofer’s post about the hearing on the ACLU’s blog.

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