Protect Our Immigrant Population

By NYC Council Members Rory Lancman and Daniel Dromm

New York City is a city of immigrants — and Queens is one of the most diverse places in the world.

Our city is home to approximately 500,000 undocumented immigrants who face daily challenges, and with the recent insidious political rhetoric, many may feel forced to seek quick legal advice.

But some providers take advantage of immigrants by offering fraudulent services.

These providers, who aren’t lawyers, often try to capitalize on immigrants’ fear or language barriers and offer pricey services the providers may not be able to legally provide, and that don’t help immigrants on their path to citizens.

To stop these providers, the City Council bill Int. 746 was introduced last year to prevent the unauthorized practice of immigration law. The bill, which has support from 37 Council Members, would prevent providers from offering services that only attorneys should offer.

Providers would also have to list their limitations and include customers’ rights in their contracts, as well as post signs in multiple languages at their locations. In addition, the bill would require the Department of Consumer Affairs update the New York City Council on complaints made against providers.

There have been too many instances of people being overcharged and underserved while seeking legal advice, with some providers using hard-working people’s vulnerability against them. But this month, there was a joint Consumer Affairs and Immigration hearing on the bill — and immigrants are one step closer towards receiving the protections they deserve.

New York City’s diversity adds so much depth to our City, and it’s crucial to make sure that New Yorkers of all immigration statuses are protected.

Daniel Dromm is the Chairman of Committee on Education and the prime sponsor of Int. 746 and Council Member Rory I. Lancman is Chairman of the Courts and Legal Services Committee and a co-sponsor of Int. 746. 

Read more here.

Queens Gazette: Dromm Welcomes First Pakistani Muslim CB 3 Member

Councilman Daniel Dromm welcomes Agha Saleh, the founder of the non-profit SUKHI NY, to Queens Community Board 3. He is the first Pakistani- American Muslim to be appointed to Queens Community Board 3.

Councilman Daniel Dromm welcomed Agha Saleh to Queens Community Board 3. He is the first Muslim American of Pakistani heritage to be appointed to the board.

Saleh grew up and lived as a young man in Pakistan. In 1996, he gave up his career as a chemical engineer, after a long fight against industrial pollution, incorrect chemical waste disposal and unsafe environments for industrial workers, and moved to the United States. He now lives in Astoria and works in Jackson Heights.

Among Saleh’s many milestones, he proposed and hosted a Community Board meeting in public at Diversity Plaza for the first time in New York City history. He has marched in the St. Pat’s for All Parade in support of LGBT equality rights since 2001.

A human rights activist in Pakistan, Saleh has continued that devotion here in New York, along with his wife, Shazia Kausar, and his daughter, Fatima, founders of the non-profit, SUKHI, Social Uplift through Knowledge Hope Initiatives. SUKHI partners with NYC DOT to maintain Diversity Plaza and organizes the diverse programming for the plaza at 74th Street and 37th Road, which ranges from Tibetan celebrations to holiday tree lightings, book giveaway days, presidential debate viewings, and more.

Saleh is also a member of the steering committee for Building Bridges: Bringing Together Government and the Muslim and Sikh Communities representing SUKHI New York as a member organization.

Read more here.

Mayor Signs into Law Dromm-Sponsored Bills to Dramatically Reduce NYC’s Cooperation with Deportations

“Limiting ICE’s access to detainees at Riker’s Island is a very important step in the right direction toward protecting our immigrant communities,” said City Council Education Committee Chair and Bills Co-Sponsor Daniel Dromm. “ICE’s practices in the past may be unconstitutional and only served to divide families.  ICE’s actions made our communities less safe by increasing suspicion about cooperation with law enforcement agencies.  I thank the Mayor, the Speaker, my colleagues and the many advocates who worked hard to improve the lives of our immigrant neighbors by passing this legislation.  Our national immigration policy is broken.  We have a moral obligation to act on the local level to save our families and friends from deportation.”