February 16, By Hannah Wulkan
A local politician is putting forward a new initiative to help protect the immigrant community of Jackson Heights.
State Senator Jose Peralta, whose recent move to leave the Democratic Party in favor a splinter group within the senate has drawn the ire of many community members, held a forum last night at P.S. 19 to discuss his initiative to create what he called a “sanctuary district.”
Under the plan, Peralta is offering legal services to immigrants and their families through the IDC’s recently set up Immigrant Defense Coalition, which also set up a hotline for immigrants to call with concerns.
“As New York leads the way in so many social and economic issues, this is now the time to lead the way in protecting our immigrant families and communities from the threat of the new administration’s unjust policies,” Peralta said. “I urge anyone who may need help to call the hotline number and seek assistance immediately.”
At the forum Peralta announced that his office doors would be open to immigrants seeking help, and he handed out information on what to do if an individual is stopped by an Immigration and Custom Enforcement officer.
“I want to make sure that my constituents know that they are not fighting alone against this administration, and this is why it is very important that they know what to do in case officers asked them about their immigration status, if they are approached or if they are taken into custody,” Peralta said.
Immigrants seeking help can call the hotline at 1-800-213-6385.