Immigrant advocates in New Haven will meet with Gov. Dannel Malloy on Wednesday to request his dedication to protecting Connecticut immigrants and residents in light of President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders.
Members of the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance, which includes the New Haven-based activist groups Junta for Progressive Action and Unidad Latina en Acción, will meet with Malloy at his office in Hartford with a list of actions they hope the governor will take. These steps include supporting sanctuary cities in the state, committing to the Connecticut TRUST Act — which allows state officials to determine how they respond to federal immigration officials — and assuring residents that he will speak against anti-immigrant bills in the general assembly.
ULA organizer Megan Fountain ’07 said CIRA advocates delivered a letter to Malloy last week that highlights their requests as a “good first step” in challenging “unconstitutional” executive orders made by Trump.
“We are remaining optimistic but are ready to hold [Malloy] accountable to his promises of being supportive of the immigrant community,” said Jesus Morales, an organizer with ULA.
Morales said further confirmation from Malloy is needed because of concern that future Trump executive orders will continue to target immigrant communities in Connecticut.
Trump has already released a federal order targeting federal funding for sanctuary cities such as New Haven. In sanctuary cities, law enforcement officers do not communicate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents which can prevent undocumented residents from being detained.
Immigrant advocates and community activists are pursuing initiatives to make other cities, such as Bridgeport, into sanctuary cities, Morales said. He added that he hopes Malloy will be supportive of such measures.
ULA organizer John Lugo said the meeting is intended to encourage Malloy to take more concrete action to challenge Trump’s executive orders. He pointed to strong political support for immigrants in other states such as Washington, which is suing the federal government over immigration orders, as a model for what he would like to see in Connecticut.
In November, Malloy said he would take the federal government to court if it attempted to withhold funds from sanctuary cities, WTNH reported.
Lugo also said he wants a clear statement from Malloy on how he intends to defend the immigrant community from “attacks” by the federal government.
Malloy could not be reached for comment on Tuesday about the upcoming meeting.
In a statement released on Jan. 29, Malloy condemned an executive order from Trump which has severely restricted immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries. The order resulted in more than 100 people with valid visas and green cards being denied access to the U.S. over the weekend, according to news reports.
Malloy said the order conflicted with constitutional rights and must be challenged in the courts.
“As a nation of immigrants, inclusivity and compassion are the hallmarks of who we are,” Malloy said in the statement. “We will not abandon our values. In the face of grave injustice, we will be neither silent nor idle but stand ready to protect our neighbors and communities.”
New Haven became a sanctuary city in 2007.