In Attendance: Danielle Tagger-Epstein, Ruth Merkatz, Kelly Grayer, Judy Secon, Commissioner Corcoran, Adrienne Mecca
Danielle Tagger-Epstein opened the meeting at 7:47pm. The minutes of the March 22, 2018 meeting were approved.
Updates and Continuing Business:
Danielle Tagger-Epstein opened the meeting by informing the Commission about the status of the family left behind by ICE intervention and the support of various agencies to assist the family.
Commissioner Corcoran reported that police departments do not have prior knowledge of the intent of ICE agents. These agents are working under a “General Order” and have the authority to be stationed outside of municipal courthouses. They will call out a person’s name prior to the individual’s entry into the courthouse. The individual, if identified, can be then taken into custody. Members of municipal, county and state police departments are not authorized to interfere with Federal Authorities.
The need for a “Rapid Response Plan” was discussed which included a list of reliable lawyers who would be available to intervene quickly. The creation of a system to meet the short-term needs of individuals and families, impacted by ICE, is also needed.
In light of these new developments, it is felt the Human Rights Commission needs to further define its purpose and review the existing charter. Creating a partnership with the Westchester County Human Rights Commission to design protocols for intervention and support was discussed, as was the creation of a Sound Shore Coalition. Among other functions, these agencies could create a resource directory, provide housing solutions and bring cultural events into the schools.
Kelly Grayer will provide the Human Rights Commission with updates from her organization and their efforts to support the needs of immigrants in Westchester.
Danielle Tagger-Epstein emphasized the efforts of this Commission are based with the intent of creating a safe space for those in need and are not political in nature.
The need to develop a logo was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:26 pm.
The next meeting of the Human Rights Commission will be held on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
Submitted by- Adrienne Mecca, Recording Secretary