Queens stands up

Queens lawmakers and city officials have spoken out against the U.S. Supreme’s Court decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban and they should be applauded for doing so.

The policy — which the president says will make our country safer — will prohibit travel from eight nations, including Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Chad and Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela.

New York City is home to over 3.1 million immigrants and nearly 1.1 million immigrants live in Queens, according to figures in a March report from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Those who reside in Queens, the nation’s most ethnically diverse county, need to know that their elected officials will support them and that seems to be the case after watching the swift response to the travel ban.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley said “this decision will be remembered as one where the Supreme Court of the United States legitimized discrimination and religious intolerance.”

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said “the Supreme Court has been on the wrong side of history before, and history will judge this decision just as harshly.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Corey Johnson and state Attorney General Barbara Underwood also criticized the Supreme Court for its controversial decision.

Several elected officials in Queens have held workshops for immigrants who live in their districts to explain their rights and current laws.

Katz’s office was scheduled to host a series of free informational “Know Your Rights” workshops and confidential legal clinics for immigrants in Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Flushing, Elmhurst and Sunnyside.

Our lawmakers have fought in favor of immigrant families who have had children separated from their parents.

Katz declared that “we are better than this. We must be better than this” and “Queens will continue to do everything possible to help counteract the hostility of the current political climate” in an Op-Ed in the TimesLedger Newspapers last week.

And de Blasio, along with and mayors from more than a dozen other U.S. cities, gathered last week near a holding facility for migrant children on the Texas border with Mexico. While the group was turned away from going inside the facility, the effort was there.

Queens residents know that their elected officials will stand up and fight for what’s right. They can see that our lawmakers are doing everything they can to defend our friends, families and neighbors in a battle with the president of the United States. It’s not a battle that will be easily won, but it is certainly one worth fighting.

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