Court Rules NY Law Enforcement Cannot Detain Immigrants for ICE

From New York Civil Liberties November 14, 2018, press release: A state appeals court in Brooklyn ruled today definitively, and for the first time, that it is illegal under state law for local law enforcement agencies in New York to make immigration arrests at the request of federal immigration officials.

“This critical ruling makes clear that police and sheriffs in New York not only should not, but cannot do ICE’s bidding,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “The role of local law enforcement is to protect and serve all New Yorkers, and that is incompatible with the unlawful detention of our neighbors and family members at the behest of the Trump deportation machine.” See the full release here.

Download the NYCLU fact sheets on the court’s decision, New York Officers Cannot Arrest or Hold People for Federal Immigration Enforcement (English, 2 pages) (Spanish, 1 page).



Need volunteers! Transportation and accompaniment training Dec 5

Helping people get to court appearances and ICE appointments is one of the most important ways that UIDN volunteers support our immigrant neighbors.

With more immigrants now in our area, the need for people willing to provide transportation and accompaniment (either by driving or accompanying on public transportation) is growing.

We’re holding a transportation and accompaniment training for new volunteers, on Wednesday December 5, 6pm to 8:30pm, at Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Episcopal Church, 30 Pine Grove Avenue, Kingston NY 12401.

Current volunteers are invited to be there and share their experiences.

If you’d like to come or have any questions, please contact Beth Murphy, 845-803-9560.

Thank you!






Benefit concert: BLOOM women’s voice ensemble

Bloom, a 33 voice Women’s Voice Ensemble and The B2’s, a 9 voice Women’s Voice Ensemble, directed by Debbie Lan, will perform a program which includes original arrangements of songs by Pat Humphries, James Taylor, Johnny Clegg, Ma Muse, Low Lilly, Susan Werner and others.

Sunday December 2, 3PM to 5:30PM

Holy Cross / Santa Cruz Episcopal Church

30 Pine Grove Avenue, Kingston NY 12401

Family-friendly! All welcome!

The Ulster Immigrant Defense Network is a coalition formed by local faith communities and concerned residents to provide a network of safety and support for our immigrant friends and neighbors, who are valued members of our communities and are currently under threat of deportation.

Training for 11/15/18 postponed!

Thursday night’s transportation and accompaniment training (11/15/18) has been cancelled due to the season’s first snow storm.

Rescheduled for Wednesday December 5.

Training for new drivers: 4:00-6:00pm. 
Pot-Luck dinner, meet-and-greet and share stories from the field for current and new drivers: 6:00-8:00pm.

Location to be determined. Stay tuned here or Facebook!


After school van driver wanted

A Kingston after-school program needs a van driver Tuesday afternoons, 2-4 p.m., during the school year when school is in session. Must have a Class C commercial driver’s license.

An experienced driver is preferred. The passenger van is provided by Iglesia La Mision.  Rate: $22 per hour. Please contact


Town Hall on community policing October 5

Town Hall on Community Policing with Juan Figueroa and Speakers

Speakers discuss how officers who are integrated into the communities they serve can positively address issues affecting people’s lives, including domestic violence, the opioid crisis, immigrants’ challenges, and elder care.

Friday, October 5th, 7-9pm    

New Paltz Community Center 

3 Veterans Drive (off Rte 32 North)

New Paltz, NY 12561

Sponsored by U-Act


Upcoming UIDN events and trainings

Accompaniment Training:

We are holding a training for those interested in accompanying our immigrant friends to ICE appointments, immigration hearings, and similar meetings on  Thursday, Sept. 20, 6:00-8:00 PM, Unitarian Universalists, 320 Sawkill Ave., Kingston.  That training is also important for those interested in helping immigrants get to important appointments (medical, legal, etc.) locally.

Helpline training:
We are holding a training for bilingual volunteers for our 24/7 helpline where immigrants can be referred to resources. Monday, September 24, 6:00-8:00 PM, Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Church, 30 Pine Grove Ave., Kingston.

School Outreach:

We are holding a meeting for school volunteers at St James Methodist Church, 35 Pearl St., Kingston on Tuesday, Sept 25, from

7 – 8:30. Interested volunteers who are interested in helping immigrant school children and their families but cannot attend should call Marjorie Leopold directly (845-763-3448) to get the necessary information.

Rapid Response:

We are holding a Level One Training for those wishing to help support immigrants in respond to potential ICE raids in our community.  That training will take place onThursday, Oct. 11, 6:00-8:00 PM, Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Church, 30 Pine Grove Ave., Kingston.

Salvadoran mother is refused release

From Worker Justice Center of NY on July 16:

Many in our community have been following Blanca and Abel’s story with great concern and outrage. We wish we could bring you better news, but due to new rules imposed by Jeff Sessions, Blanca was denied release from ICE custody at her bond hearing today. This decision will prolong her separation from Abel, despite a finding by USCIS that Blanca has a credible fear of persecution should she and Abel return to their home country of El Salvador. Attorneys at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project have indicated that they will appeal the bond denial and keep fighting for Blanca and Abel’s reunification. 

While Blanca is held in Tacoma, WA, her 8-year-old son Abel is in Kingston, NY.

In this file self portrait taken in Mexico in May 2018, Blanca Orantes-Lopez poses for a photo with her 8-year-old son, Abel Alexander, during the monthlong journey from their hometown of Puerto La Libertad, El Salvador, to the United States-Mexico border.



800 come out for #FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER on June 30

A 12 year old boy tells his story.

With temperatures in the high 90s, the largest crowd ever to assemble in front of City Hall in Kingston gathered in protest of the administration’s brutal border policies including the forced separation of families. Estimates ranged from 800 to 1000 people, representing all ages and demographics. After listening to speakers from the Latino and faith communities, the crowd marched to George Washington Elementary School for a festive rally with activities for children.

The Kingston march was organized by Citizen Action of NY/Hudson Valley, La Voz, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, Rise Up Kingston, Ulster Immigrant Defense Network, and Woodstock Immigrant Support.

Cosponsors included Indivisible 19, La Voz en Radio Kingston, Ulster People for Justice and Democracy, U-Act, and Worker Justice Center of New York.

Photos by Penny Coleman

Faith leaders and organizers on the steps of City Hall,