After Peralta joins IDC, the GOP-controlled State Senate it enables is about to enter immigration fray

A Republican State Senator has proposed to regulate IDNYC records, a move that could potentially put at risk undocumented New Yorkers, who applied for the Municipal identification card

By LOUIS FLORES

When New York State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) announced he was abandoning the mainline Democratic Conference in the State Legislature's upper house, he was trading party unity for self-interested gains, according to a report published by The New York Daily News and a subsequent report published by The New York Post. The subsequent report suggested that State. Sen. Peralta was seeking a pay raise by joining the break-away group of Democrats, known as the Independent Democratic Conference. State Sen. Peralta reportedly has accumulated a larger number of debts due to burdensome financial commitments, such as child support payments, according to the subsequent report. Advance questions submitted to State Sen. Peralta for this report were not answered.

State Sen. Peralta's membership in the IDC, as the break-away group is often referred, strengthens the influence of the New York State Republic Party's hold on power on the New York State Senate. The formation and the work of the IDC's members have enabled the State GOP to serve as a check on State Democrats by limiting the influence of liberals to "one-house" bills that never reach the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-New York). It has been reported that Gov. Cuomo supports this obstructionist arrangement, because GOP control over the New York State Senate enables his brand of neoliberalism, according to a report published by The New York Times.

The anti-immigration impact of State Sen. Peralta's political move

As a consequence of State Sen. Peralta's membership in the IDC and its support of State GOP control over the State Senate, Republican Party priorities have a chance of taking hold in New York State, a "blue state" known historically for its progressive political leadership. Within days of State Sen. Peralta's defection to the IDC, it was announced that State Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Hudson Valley) had introduced proposed legislation that would prevent Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) from authorizing the destruction of records used by undocumented applicants to receive the City's identification card, IDNYC, according to a report published by The New York Post. Mayor de Blasio already faces a lawsuit  filed by Republican Party State Legislators from Staten Island that seeks to prevent the destruction of IDNYC application records.

In response to President Donald Trump's official actions to deny immigrants entry into the U.S. and to target them for heightened scrutiny, State and Municipal Democrats have launched litigation and other responses to thwart or blunt the effect of President Trump's anti-immigrant policies. At the same time, State Republicans have proposed counter-moves to effect anti-immigrant policies. Activists are protesting neoliberal National Democratic Party officials, such as U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York), in an effort to stop President Trump from making regressive political appointments and instituting legally-challenged policies against immigrants. Against this backdrop, neoliberal State Democratic Party officials have thus far escaped scrutiny. In the past, State Sen. Peralta has been a supporter of The Dream Act, a Democratic Party-supported legislative proposal that would provide state college tuition assistance to the children of undocumented immigrants, according to a report published by The New York Daily News. In the past, State Sen. Peralta's GOP-controlled, legislative body has failed to pass such progressive legislation by "razor-thin" margins. It is not known how State Sen. Peralta, who was the first Dominican-American to be elected to the New York State Senate, rationalises his membership with the break-away conference at a time when support for the State Republican Party translates into anti-immigrant policies.

During the transition, other Democratic Party operatives met with Trump, believing that they could work with him

During the time when then President-elect Trump was forming his transition team, he met with a slew of leftists, including the lobbyists Jennifer Cunningham and Vincent Pitta and the labor leaders Peter Ward and Jim Callahan, according to a report published by POLITICO. The meeting took place to lobby President-elect Trump in a defense of Obamacare, according to the POLITICO report. The reported raised concerns by some progressives that "the meeting only helped to normalize the president-elect at a critical juncture — just as the labor movement is hoping to rise up as a force of resistance and a reinvigorated voice for vulnerable Americans, in opposition to the incoming administration." New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Spanish Harlem) has close political ties to Mr. Pitta. Her spokesperson declined to comment about Mr. Pitta's meeting with President-elect Trump.

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