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25+ labor unions support NYS proposal to limit cooperation between police and immigration agencies

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Over 25 labor unions have shown their support for a proposal that would prevent local and state agencies in New York from assisting federal immigration enforcement agencies. The unions have written a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, urging them to support the legislation that would restrict coordination with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

The letter argues that ICE and CBP have long demonized and demoralized immigrant New Yorkers through raids and scare tactics that separate families and harm communities. It also highlights that employers often exploit immigrant workers’ fear of deportation, using it to discourage them from advocating against workplace abuses and suppressing organizing efforts. The New York For All Act aims to address these issues by prohibiting local and state agencies from funneling people into ICE and CBP custody, sharing sensitive information, and using local resources to support a federal political agenda.

Among the unions backing the bill are 32BJ SEIU, District Council 37, and United Auto Workers, Region 9A. New York already has measures in place to limit ICE coordination, such as prohibiting the agency from making civil arrests in courthouses. However, Republican legislators have opposed efforts to prevent federal immigration enforcement from working with New York officials, criticizing initiatives to strengthen New York’s status as a “sanctuary” state.

Republican State Senator Dean Murray has previously argued against a blanket sanctuary state measure, stating that laws are passed to protect the public, and asking local law enforcement to ignore some of those laws is problematic.