Being an Immigrant is Not a Crime
Being undocumented is not a crime and a person’s immigration status has no bearing on their credibility. But because of their status, undocumented immigrants or those with pending immigration-related issues are often reluctant to report crimes to the police or DA’s Office. No one should have to choose between seeking justice and facing deportation.
- Diana will implement an office-wide policy that we will move for preclusion in every case to ensure that no witness can be asked about their immigration status.
- Diana supports the Municipal Voting Rights bill that proposed a process for New Yorkers who are legal permanent residents as well as those authorized to work in the country the right to cast a ballot in NYC municipal elections.
Collateral Consequences of the Criminal Justice System on Immigrants
An alleged accusation, criminal charges, and convictions can trigger detention and deportation for people who are not US citizens, subjecting them to far greater collateral punishments and separation from their families.
- Prosecutors will take into account the collateral consequences of justice involvement on immigrants by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, AILA, (“DANY-AILA MOU”). Whenever a case involves either a noncitizen witness or accused, prosecutors will have direct access to AILA attorneys who can assist in guidance as charging, dispositions, and ways to ensure victims are empowered to cooperate and get justice without fear of immigration consequences. This can involve assistance with eligibility for U visas to understanding the different types of business visas and the impact of criminal convictions. AILA members will give trainings to ADAs to keep them abreast of the latest developments, and reinterpretations of what triggers deportation and other immigration consequences. The goal will be to achieve accountability regardless of one’s immigration status.
- Diana will work with local authorities to protect people against ICE enforcement in courthouses and with the NYC Department of Probation to prevent ICE arrests at probation offices.
Expand the Protection and Services to the Immigrant Communities
Diana will expand the existing Immigrant Affairs Program to become a Unit and provide more resources and enhance the responsibilities of its lawyers. The newly designed unit will work collaboratively with other bureaus that investigate housing issues, wage theft, worker safety, and construction incidents.
Protect Our Courts Act
Diana supports Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Michaelle Solages’s Protect Our Courts Act (S.425A/A.2176A), which prohibits Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other law enforcement agencies from making civil arrests in and around New York State courthouses, unless they have a judicial warrant or court order.