Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Nisha Agarwal said the city will have to “wait and see” what kinds of policies President-Elect Donald Trump actually tries to implement once he’s sworn in, but vowed the city would continue to support and advocate on behalf of Muslims and immigrants generally.
Agarwal—a public interest lawyer whom Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed to head the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in February 2014—was part of the panel last night on how the election results would affect Muslims in the United Stats and how to combat discrimination at the New York Law School that included professors and advocates. The event was organized well before the election actually took place, when few foresaw an electoral triumph for Trump and his campaign promises to bar people from Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States.
“I don’t think that President-Elect Trump had the most detailed policy platform so to some extent, we will have to just wait and see what he decides to do,” Agarwal said. “A really important thing that we’ve been thinking about, we have power to impact that. That’s the reality of democracy: we can impact that at the local level in terms of how we behave.”
She said Trump’s proposals lack depth but that the city can leverage its partnership with affected communities and other American cities to determine “what we bring to D.C. when we need to fight back and if we need to fight back.”
De Blasio told reporters Wednesday and Thursday that he was willing work with Trump but pledged to protect the records of the city’s municipal identification program, which gives I.D.s to undocumented immigrants and other marginalized groups. Agarwhal said that 900,000 New Yorkers have signed up for the IDNYC program since it launched last January….
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