Everyone Loves Cynthia Nixon, Including New York's Largest Immigrant Rights Group


Cynthia Nixon has been endorsed for governor by one of the most active immigrant rights groups in New York, on the same day as she firmly moved to incumbent Andrew Cuomo’s left on immigration.

Nixon was endorsed by Make the Road Action, the political arm of Make the Road New York, on Friday. Make the Road describes itself as “the largest community-based participatory immigrant organization in New York State.” The group claims to have 22,000 dues-paying members, primarily Latinx immigrants, who live in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island, according to its website. (Full disclosure: I interned for Make the Road in the summer of 2004.)

Nixon’s campaign did not respond to Splinter’s request for a more detailed look at her immigration platform—including whether she supports calls to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency—but a press release from Make the Road offered a glimpse at some of her positions.

“Cynthia Nixon has committed to a strong progressive platform rooted in the lived experience of working-class New Yorkers of color and immigrants,” Javier H. Valdés, co-executive director of Make the Road Action, said in the press release.

Valdés said Nixon has committed to passing and fully resourcing some pretty basic policies that have yet to pass in New York, like driver’s licenses for undocumented New Yorkers and the state’s version of the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented students access to state financial aid and in-state tuition at public colleges.

“We have to pass legislation to make sure we do not collaborate with ICE, that they are not welcomed here and we have to pass the New York DREAM Act,” Nixon told Spanish-language newspaper El Diario on Friday. “We have to double our efforts to say that a New Yorker is a New Yorker regardless of their status.”

Cuomo has said he would sign the DREAM Act into law if the GOP-led state Senate manages to pass the bill. (New York’s Assembly approved the DREAM Act earlier this year.) But Cuomo has been criticized for not doing more to make undocumented immigrants eligible to apply for driver’s licenses.

Valdés, the director of Make the Road Action, said Nixon would also help immigrants and people of color by “strengthening the rent laws and standing up to the real estate tycoons who pad the pockets of Albany politicians to pad their own bottom lines, and implementing real criminal justice reform that includes full bail reform.”

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