July 10, By Jason Cohen
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) plans to introduce legislation in the House this week that would provide undocumented 9/11 rescue and clean-up workers with green cards, he announced yesterday.
Crowley’s bill, called the 9/11 Immigrant Worker Freedom Act, comes just weeks after he led a successful campaign to stop deportation proceedings against Carlos Cardona, a Jackson Heights resident who aided in the cleanup of the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Several elected officials joined Crowley at a press conference held at the steps of City Hall yesterday where he announced the bill. U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Nydia Velázquez and Adriano Espaillat were there in support, as were immigration advocates.
“In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, these workers stepped up to provide critical services so our nation could begin to heal and rebuild,” Crowley said. “Countless individuals went to work at a long, hazardous and painful job of cleaning up the destruction of the attacks. Yet many of them still lack legal immigration options and have lived in fear of deportation from the country they served. It is a great disservice and injustice to these immigrants who call our country home and that’s why I’m announcing legislation to ensure our nation does right by them.”
Alex Sanchez, the president of United We Stand, a social justice organization, commended the congressman on his efforts to help 9/11 workers.
“When you consider the sacrifice these workers made, it is the least we can do to show our gratitude,” Sanchez said. “We must continue to lead by example to provide leadership that simply saves lives and I applaud Congressman Crowley’s effort to support those workers who served our country in the aftermath of 9/11.”
The legislation is not likely to go very far given the Republican-controlled Congress, and with the Trump administration, which has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration.