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Gianaris introduces legislation aimed to protect immigrants from discrimination

Jan. 12, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

A local politician is working to add immigration status to the list of protected classes under New York’s anti-discrimination rights laws.

State Senator Michael Gianaris has introduced legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their immigration status, and allow victims of hate attacks based on their immigration status to bring civil charges against their attackers.

“Immigrants are under siege like never before and we have an obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of those who came to our country seeking a better life,” Gianaris said.

New York’s Human Rights Law already protects people from discrimination based on age, race, sexual orientation and gender, among others.

“With our president-elect threatening to deport millions of immigrants who came to America to build a better life for themselves and their families, this bill is one way to resist the hate and stand up for a free New York,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman.

The new legislation comes after hate crimes and attacks surged throughout the city following the presidential election in November.

Mike Gianaris

A Muslim Uber driver took a video of a man yelling racist slurs out the window of his car at him in November, adding “Trump is president, a–hole, so you can kiss your f–king visa goodbye, scumbag.”

“Given the current political climate that has been marked by an increase in hate crimes, it is more important than ever that we ensure that New Yorkers, including undocumented New Yorkers, legal permanent residents, visa holders, and others, are equally protected,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

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Astoria Resident

My favorite was the Pakistani mother who told her daughter she giving her a wedding reception but burnt her alive instead. It’s known as an honor killing. We need more people from those cultures here. I’m sure they’ll assimilate with no problem.


Illegals have broken our laws. We are a sovereign nation. They should go back where they came from and apply to come into the country legally. Why should they and their children be able to avail themselves of benefits and services which were built by people who came here legally. They pay taxes, fought in wars, and did much to improve the quality of life in this country. The new so-called immigrants come here and want everything for nothing. They leave Third World countries and treat the US as though it were a Third World nation. They urinate and defecate in the street, they sleep anywhere and everywhere and all of the services our tax dollars provide are becoming over burdened. This country was built bylegal citizens. The illegal aliens should go back where they came from and take their children with them.

Astoria Resident

Everyone knows that Democrats support illegal immigration. That’s why they lost so badly on Nov. 8th, but do double down on your nonsense. Stop pretending that you care about them when you want them here for cheap labor.


Illegals got to go! No more slave labor for Democratic elitists! No more pandering for votes to enrich the politicians pockets.


Immigration status is already a protected category under the City’s human rights law. It should definitely be added to the state law.

Astoria Resident

States and municipalities are not in charge, Constitutionally, with immigration policy and law. The federal government is.

Tony 'The Wrench'

They broke the law, they need to go back and begin the process to re-enter legally. What’s the problem? The only reason Gianaris is pushing for this, is because his buddies and contributors are going to lose lots of money when that cheap source of labor dries up. Does he expect anyone to believe that he actually cares about those people? All these politicians are quick to defend and turn a blind eye to the immigration problem in this country, because they live far removed from the neighborhoods that are affected. I really hope they cut funding that allows New York to be a sanctuary city. Trump won, the people have spoken.


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