If passed, the bill would change the maximum sentence to 364 days. The bill addresses a mismatch in the way New York law overlaps with federal immigration law. Under immigration law, certain minor convictions that are punishable by a year or more may lead to detention, denial of necessary forms of immigration relief, and deportation for thousands of immigrants. This small change of reducing the maximum class A misdemeanor sentence by only one day would protect thousands of New Yorkers from these unnecessary, harsh immigration consequences.
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the United States are at risk of detention and deportation due to the combination of current immigration enforcement policies that target people with past or ongoing encounters with the justice system, and the harsh federal immigration laws enacted in 1996.
Due to some idiosyncrasies in the drafting of federal immigration laws, New York’s one year maximum sentence for class A misdemeanors has extraordinary, harsh, and disproportionate consequences for immigrant New Yorkers.
For more on the campaign, download the Fact Sheet here.
The Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) works to secure fairness and justice for immigrants in the United States. IDP aims to abolish a racially biased criminal legal system that violates basic human rights and an immigration system that every year tears hundreds of thousands of immigrants with convictions from their homes, their families, and their communities.
The Fortune Society’s David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (DRCPP) works to build equitable legal systems and alternative approaches to justice, change counterproductive laws and policies, advance effective program models, and shift public perception. DRCPP works to advance policies to minimize the adverse ramifications of the criminal and immigration legal systems on individuals, families, and communities at the intersection.
On NY1 Noticias (starting at 4:50), NY State Senator Jessica Ramos discusses her co-sponsorship of the bill (A.4881/S.1825) that would amend NY law to reduce the maximum sentence on low-level offenses by one day to 264 days.
Enjoy some highlights from the day below:
“New York stands for fairness and justice, not hate and division. The One Day to Protect New Yorkers bill provides a critical opportunity for the state legislature to protect not only thousands of immigrant New Yorkers, but the values that define our state.”
– Alisa Wellek, Executive Director of the Immigrant Defense Project
“As a native of Guyana and person who faced deportation due to a criminal conviction, I understand the trauma that mandatory deportation inflicts on immigrant families. We are committed to ending the mass deportation that continues to tear apart communities and families, and the dehumanizing racism and criminalization at the core of these systems.”
– Khalil A. Cumberbatch, Associate Vice President of Policy, The Fortune Society
“As an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, I understand the continued need to persistently advocate for those most vulnerable under a rigid immigration system and ultimately be a voice for immigrants to ensure they are protected from arbitrary deportation. It is for this reason that I have introduced into the Senate S.4294, which reduces the maximum sentence for misdemeanor offenses from one year to 364 days.”
– Former Senator Marisol Alcantara, District 31