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Menchaca marches to Trump Tower

Council member warns President-elect on immigration

December 7, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Carlos Menchaca leads a gathering outside Trump Tower on Tuesday. Photo by William Alatriste
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Hours after the City Council passed a resolution re-affirming New York as a sanctuary city for immigrants, Councilmember Carlos Menchaca led a march to Trump Tower on Tuesday serve public notice to President-elect Donald Trump that city officials will stand up for the rights of immigrants.

Menchaca, who was joined by immigration advocates, took the newly-passed Sanctuary City Resolution to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan on Tuesday. Menchaca (D-Sunset Park-Red Hook) is chairman of the council’s Committee on Immigration. 

“President-elect Trump’s hateful rhetoric regarding immigrants is an affront to New Yorkers and does not reflect our core values, including a commitment to inclusion, compassion and the rule of law,” the resolution reads.

A sanctuary city is a municipality that has adopted a policy of not prosecuting undocumented immigrants for violating federal immigration laws.

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At a press conference, Menchaca read a few lines from the resolution and then entered Trump Tower with the intent to hand-deliver the letter to the President-elect. He did not get to meet with Trump.

The text of the resolution highlights Executive Order No. 34, which ensures that city services are available to all residents, regardless of immigration status. In addition, the resolution mentions city-sponsored programs such as the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, the Unaccompanied Minors and Families Initiative, the Immigrant Opportunities Initiative, the Day Laborer Workforce Initiative, IDNYC and adult literacy classes.

“It will be our municipalities that will define the progressive victories of this next chapter of American history. It is our right, as a city, to protect our New York immigrant families — and it’s the right thing to do, not just because it is good for our continued economic and cultural vibrancy, but simply because it is the humane thing to do. We are ready and willing to do everything within our powers, as elected officials, to protect our New York immigrant families,” Menchaca said.

Immigration advocates lauded the passage of the resolution.

“The passage of this resolution affirming that New York City will remain a ‘sanctuary city’ is an essential pledge to protect our immigrant families, many of whom have mixed immigration statuses within one family,” New York Immigration Coalition Executive Director Steven Choi said.

“President-elect Donald Trump must respect state and city protections that it provides to its residents. And New York will lead the nation with a bright light of hope for millions of Americans, regardless of their immigration status. Councilman Menchaca and the City Council are showing they will back up their words of support with bold policies in these uncertain times,” said Cesar Vargas of the Dream Action Coalition.

Trump had vowed several times during the presidential campaign to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border and to deport undocumented immigrants.

On his campaign website,, Trump listed “End Sanctuary Cities” at Number 4 on his 10-point “Put America First” immigration reform plan.

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