MAYOR’S BUDGET ALLOCATES $16.4 MILLION FOR NEW YORK IMMIGRANT FAMILY UNITY PROJECT AND ONLY $3.9 MILLION FOR DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS SERVICES
While addressing veterans gathered at the site of the future Queens Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Elmhurst Park, Republican candidate for Mayor Nicole Malliotakis slammed Mayor de Blasio for only allocating $3.9 million dollars in his budget for the Department of Veterans Services while allocating $16.4 million to the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project to help illegal immigrants – some of whom have been convicted of felonies – from being deported.
Said Malliotakis, “It’s an absolute disgrace that this mayor and city council want to spend four times more money protecting illegal immigrants than they spend on our military veterans who have put their lives on the line to protect this country.
“While Mark-Viverito and de Blasio are spending taxpayer dollars on lawyers to protect criminals who are facing deportation, 34,000 veterans residing in New York City who are suffering from PTSD and substance abuse are forced to fend for themselves.
“The rest of the world judges us by the way we care for our senior citizens and our veterans so I am calling on Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito to remove the money in the budget allocated for the NYIFUP lawyer project and give it instead to the Department of Veterans Affairs to care for those who fought for us.
“I am also asking them to join Albany to ensure that a percentage of city contracts be set aside for Veteran Owned Businesses. The State recently implemented a program that requires 6% of state contracts go to veteran-owned businesses. The same should be done at the city level.
“Lastly, I call upon the Mayor and the Speaker to implement the measure introduced by Minority Leader Steven Matteo, 50th CD that would authorize the expansion of a property tax exemption for the city’s veterans. This is the least our city government can do for those who fought to protect our nation.
“New York City needs a mayor who will make veterans her priority.”