CCSM 2023 Legislative and Budget Priorities
While the federal government continues to play games with immigration reform, we have the power to change the material conditions of immigrant New Yorkers. This year CCSM is serving as the Capital Region Coordinator for several statewide campaigns. We are educating and organizing our membership to play an active role in creating meaningful change in our communities.
In 2023, CCSM’s legislative priorities in New York are:
Unemployment Bridge Program (S3192 / A4821)
The fight for the Excluded Workers Fund showed us that our safety net is filled with gaps that unjustly exclude many of New York’s most vulnerable workers, especially Black, brown, and immigrant workers in precarious low-wage industries. The Unemployment Bridge Program will create an alternative to unemployment insurance for workers who are undocumented, cash earners, self-employed, freelancers and/or recently released from incarceration. The program would cover an estimated 750,000 workers across the state.
Raise Up NY (A2204/S1978)
Since winning a $15 minimum wage in 2016, rising cost of living and skyrocketing inflation have eroded its purchasing power. With incremental increases rolled out across the state, Upstate NYs minimum wage is still only $14.20. Our families can’t survive like this. Raise Up NY would increase the minimum wage across the state to $21.25 by 2027 and index it to the cost of living to consistently maintain its purchasing power.
Access to Representation (A170/S999)
The Access to Representation Act is a first-in-the-nation piece of legislation that would establish a universal right to representation in immigration proceedings. The statistics are startling. 60% of non-detained immigrants with lawyers win their cases, versus the 17% who don’t have legal representation. Detained immigrants are 10 times more likely to win their case and 7 times more likely to be released when they have legal representation. No person should have to navigate our complex legal system without representation, which is why CCSM is fighting for universal access to representation for all immigrant New Yorkers.
Coverage for All (A3020/S2237)
Last year the Coverage for All Campaign won access to health insurance for undocumented New Yorkers 65+ and birthing parents. Undocumented people between the age of 19-65 remain excluded from accessing health insurance and the Governors proposal earlier this year explicitly excluded them once again. Coverage 4 All will provide health insurance through NY Essential Plan for an estimated 45,000 low-income undocumented New Yorkers.
We have witnessed the heart wrenching impacts of family separation in our local communities because of local police departments collusion with ICE. New York for All would prohibit law enforcement throughout the state from conspiring with ICE and CBP. This critical legislation would help alleviate the fear that many immigrants and their families live with every day and allow them to care for their families, while also making sure that local governments don’t misuse their resources to advance a federal immigration agenda. While CCSM has won non-cooperation agreements in Columbia County, Hudson and Catskill, it is a constant struggle to ensure training and accountability within departments. We need a statewide solution now!