As the New York State legislative session comes to an end on June 2nd, lawmakers and Immigration advocates are making a final push to pass pieces of legislation that could have a major impact on New York immigrant communities. Here’s a look at some of the immigration reform bills being considered:
Other bills affecting immigrants:
Other bills that would affect immigration reform being considered this legislative session include the Clemency Justice Act (S7667/A9145), which would require certain application and review requirements for the Governor’s reprieves, commutations and pardons, the bill says. For many immigrants with criminal convictions, a pardon can give them the opportunity to stay in the United States, shielding them from deportation. The bill is sponsored by State Senator Zellnor Myrie and Assembly Member Michaelle C. Solages.
Also Read: How Congress Killed Immigration Reform
According to the bill, the governor would have to provide:
- Written notification that the application has been received
- A receipt number that the applicant can then use to check on his or her application status
- Guidelines for supplementing the application with additional or updated information
- Notification when a decision is made on the application
- Quarterly reports to the legislature regarding reprieves, commutations and pardons.
The Wrongful Convictions Act (S266A/A98A) is also up for consideration. This legislation would allow for individuals to return to court with new evidence that was not available during a trial. If charged with a wrongful conviction, advocates say, immigrants can face deportation. The bill is sponsored by State Senator Zellnor Myrie and Assembly Member Dan Quart.
According to the bill’s advocates and sponsors, the legislation would ensure that individuals “with a claim of innocence” have access to discovery, an attorney, and a passage to exoneration. The bill would establish that individuals convicted for offenses that are later decriminalized, have a way to clear their records.
Fisayo Okare contributed to this article.