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Testimonials

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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Nicole Malliotakis, an assemblywoman representing parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn will be challenging Mayor De Blasio in the upcoming Mayoral race. One of the primary issues on the table will likely be that of sanctuary cities. Malliotakis has taken a firm stand against sanctuary cities, calling to end New York City’s protectionist policies toward illegal immigrants; suing the city after De Blasio sought to destroy the personal information of New York City’s illegal immigrant population as a protective measure against Trump’s anti-immigration policies. 

Malliotakis must now reconcile her political beliefs against the rumor in the works regarding the legality of her father’s immigration status. Malliotakis maintains in the face of criticism that her father “went through the proper channels to become to become legal.” 

“My father came to this country, he just applied to become a citizen” in the 1960s. “He came he applied, he went back and he had to wait, the process.” 

According to Crain’s, when pressed for details of the trip, Malliotakis added: “I can ask him, I never really asked him the specific details about how he came here.” 

The Republican’s stance on immigrants is far less polarizing than Trump’s. The assemblywoman wants to make the process of gaining citizenship easier for those that choose the legal route. “My opinion has always been that as a daughter of immigrants, I have compassion for individuals who are here and want to contribute…I think we should make it easier for those individuals to gain citizenship.” 

Her staunch support of the legal immigrant community is sharply contrasted by her non-support of the illegal immigrant narrative. For one, she vocalized her opposition by refusing to support the state DREAM Act, which would have funded scholarships for undocumented youth. Malliotakis also rejected the initiative of Mayor De Blasio to protect the confidential information of IDNYC card holders; including undocumented immigrants for fear that they would be deported in the wake of Trump’s tenure. 

In this sense, the Mayoral prospect is in line with the presidential platform. She emphasized that federal immigration officials should not target immigrants without a criminal record. 

When asked about whether the Trump administration is targeting individuals without criminal records, Maliotakis replied “No…and they’re not doing that. I’ve met with ICE; I’ve gotten a briefing on what they’ve been doing in New York City. They are not targeting individuals who are here merely illegally.” 

The statistical evidence points to the contrary. From January 20 to March 13, ICE arrested 280 people that it deemed “criminal” and 82 it deemed “non-criminal” within the New York City area. The amount arrested under the banner of being “non-criminal had doubled since 2016.

An ICE spokesperson echoed this sentiment in a statement issued regarding the new immigration policy. “U.S. Immigration and customs enforcement focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security. However, as [Homeland Security] Secretary [John] Kelly has made clear, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable from a final order, removal from the United States.”   

By: Kristina Stukalenko