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.

New York Observer: Mark-Viverito and Queens Officials Hail Obama Immigration Action

By Will Bredderman

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito addresses the crowd as Councilman Daniel Dromm and State Senator Jose Peralta look on (Photo: Will Bredderman).

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito addresses the crowd as Councilman Daniel Dromm and State Senator Jose Peralta look on (Photo: Will Bredderman).

Dozens of Hispanic New Yorkers, many still dressed in work clothes, packed into the Jackson Heights, Queens headquarters of activist group Make the Road New York this evening to watch President Barack Obama’s announcement of his executive order for immigration reform on a single flatscreen TV.

Before the president spoke, a succession of local speakers and elected officials addressed the crowd in Spanish, repeatedly using the phrase “noche histórico”–”historic night”–to describe to the occasion: the declaration of Mr. Obama’s plan to allow some four million undocumented immigrants who have resided in the United States for five years to register to avoid deportation and work legally in the country, permitted they have no criminal record. Chants like “Obama, eschucha: estamos en la lucha,” and “sí, se puede”–”Obama, listen: we are in the fight,” and “yes, we can”–broke out several times among the audience.

Local Councilman Daniel Dromm was the first elected official to arrive, and spoke to the crowd in Spanish. He praised the president’s action on the issue over the resistance of the Republican-controlled Congress, but said that it was necessary to provide full amnesty to all of the foreign nationals living in the country.

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.”