Less than a week from today, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States, and immigrant and refugee communities in New York are poised to face that reality with a profound strength and resilience. We understand and believe in the true story of New York: the story of diverse groups of people building robust and full lives by leaning on each other. And this story will only continue, no matter what happens during a Trump Presidency.
Donald Trump's candidacy and election have had a tangible impact on immigrant communities - in New York and across the country. Since he kicked off his campaign eighteen months ago by calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" and "criminals," his actions and words targeting immigrants have unleashed a tidal wave of hate, intolerance, and intimidation. On the eve of a Trump Presidency, immigrant New Yorkers are worried for themselves, for their children, for their neighbors and for their communities.
But they are also emboldened by the spirit of our New York - a state that thrives when we all thrive.
Much of New York's vitality and prosperity is driven by the four million immigrants who call the Empire State home. Together, they account for more than 1 out of every 4 New Yorkers and a quarter of its economic output. Every day, in millions of moments small and large, immigrant and native-born New Yorkers' lives are woven together. Our New York is a place where we buy our milk from a store owned by a second-generation Jamaican, take a taxi driven by a refugee from Ethiopia and go to a cultural show with a performer on tour from Australia. We believe that immigrants make our New York strong - that their dreams, drive and hope powers us all forward.
The New York Immigration Coalition is ready to double down on these beliefs. Today we launch the "This Is Our New York" campaign to engage all of our New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, in a multi-faceted effort to showcase the true, inclusive values of our New York. Through comprehensive outreach, community education, legal services, advocacy, organizing, capacity building, and public engagement, we will protect, defend and stand up for immigrant New York - for our New York.
President-elect Donald Trump might have been born in New York, he may still live in New York, but through this campaign, we will send him a clear message about what it means to represent this great state. Because real New Yorkers are welcoming and inclusive. They are foreign and native-born alike, who share the same dreams, who believe in justice and who stand up for each other. They are the 8,300 people who signed up to accompany their Muslim neighbors on public transit in the wake of increasing hate crimes. They are the thousands of people who've volunteered with our member organizations in the wake of the election. They are the teachers dedicating extra hours to comfort scared immigrant children, the faith leaders who seek to protect their members from deportation, the thousands who came out on a rainy day in December to march on our streets to Trump Tower and proclaim loudly and in one voice that immigrant New Yorkers are here to stay.
This is the story of New York - resilience in the face of fear, unity in the face of adversity. We are all here to stay, and we won't stop protesting, organizing, advocating and engaging New Yorkers until the President-elect and his administration extend opportunity, equality, and justice to our immigrant communities, to all of #OurNY.