We congratulate Mayor Liz Lempert for standing firm on Princeton’s intent to remain a sanctuary city for immigrants navigating the path to citizenship, despite fear and reaction following the recent tragedy in San Francisco where a woman was killed allegedly by an undocumented immigrant. Mayor Lempert and the Police Department are working hard to build trust throughout the community, including with the immigrant population, by providing “impartial policing” to all members of the community so people can feel safe to report crimes to the police.

Our YWCA applauds that response as we remind our elected officials that the lack of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) has taken a devastating toll on countless immigrant families. In New Jersey women make up 51.4 percent of the immigrant population. Without CIR, these women and their families are needlessly marginalized. This will also serve as a time to focus on the “End Racial Profiling Act” (S. 1056/H.R. 1933), which has been re-introduced in Congress and would nationally define and outlaw the practice of racial profiling by law enforcement.

YWCA believes all people — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, or gender — have the right to justice. This includes policies that eradicate racial profiling, increase immigrant rights, strengthen affirmative action and reduce hate crimes.

We strive to eliminate racism through awareness and educational programs. To that end, our YWCA provides our community with a well-respected English as a Second Language Program, high school equivalency preparation, and HiSET testing in both English and Spanish, and a bilingual nursery school and child care program. We have also partnered with Latin American Legal Defense and Education (LALDEF) and Dress for Success Mercer to offer a free immigration workshop to our community members.

The workshop, scheduled for Saturday, August 22, from 1 to 5 p.m., will focus on topics such as applying for citizenship/interview preparation, request/renew deferred action for youth, help with completion and review of application, translation of birth and marriage certificates, career planning, ESL classes, and more. Pre-registration is required and can be made by calling 609-688-0881. The workshop will be held at YWCA Princeton on 59 Paul Robeson Place.

Judy Hutton

CEO, YWCA Princeton

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