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LAS: NYC Mayoral Candidates Must Address Challenges of Immigrant Communities

Hasan Shafiqullah, Attorney-in-Charge of The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit, called on the city’s next Mayor to play a big role in helping immigrant New Yorkers feel secure in a Documented NY piece examining the candidates’ positions.

Myriad challenges confronting New York’s immigrant communities – including the devastating health and economic deprivations wrought by the COVID-19 epidemic – offer candidates for the upcoming mayoral race a chance to delineate their policy positions as the election cycle heats up.

“If I’m undocumented, I might not be able to differentiate between what I’m hearing from Washington [D.C.] and what the city is offering,” said Shafiqullah whose clients have pulled their children from public school or stopped medical treatment because of fears that it could impact their immigration status via public charge policies. Even though the policy was repealed by the Biden administration, Shafiqullah said Trump’s anti-immigration efforts have had a chilling effect on immigrant communities.

“I think the city has a lot to do to make people trust them and feel safe here again,” he added.