Renegade Democrats Think State Senate GOP Will Help Protect Immigrants

Most of New York’s Democrats are panicking over the potential impact of President-elect Donald Trump’s policies on the city’s immigrant communities—but not the breakaway, Republican-aligned Independent Democratic Conference, who said today they believe the State Senate GOP will work with them to combat bias and hate.

Trump has said that he plans to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants who he says have criminal records, and study the possibility of removing even more. But Brooklyn State Senator Jesse Hamilton—who announced earlier this month that he would leave the mainstream Democratic caucus to become the renegade group’s seventh member—said that he personally believes that the IDC can work with Senate Republicans to preserve immigrants’ rights.

“This is my first term as far as being a senator and I can only speak for myself, I can’t speak for the Senate Republicans but I do hope that they will work with us to make sure that immigrants’ rights are protected in this state,” Hamilton said at a joint press conference with Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Networks. “So I’m hopeful in that and I believe that we’re working together to making that happen.”

And when another reporter asked whether Senate Republicans’ attitude will change now that Trump is president, he said he hopes they can all unite to solve the problem.

“We’re all immigrants and I can’t talk for them but I just hope that we can work together for the betterment of the state,” Hamilton continued.

IDC Leader Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx boasted that his splinter caucus was able to secure $250,000 for the Vera Institute of Justice’s New York Immigrant Family Unity Project to provide public defenders for individuals facing deportation with the help of the Republican majority in the Senate. At the press conference this morning, they called for $4 million in to meet the remaining statewide need.

By Madina Toure for OBSERVER
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