Jason Ben Nathan / Sun Senior Photographer

November 16, 2016

Myrick Vows to Protect Minorities, Immigrants in Ithaca

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Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 promised to safeguard Ithaca residents’ civil rights and called for increased civic engagement in the wake of Donald Trump’s election at a town hall event in Collegetown Tuesday.

Myrick pledged to protect residents who could be threatened by President-elect Trump’s future policies, in light of the views that he expressed on the campaign trail. The mayor specifically spoke in defense of LGBTQ citizens, religious minorities and undocumented immigrants.

“I want to make a promise,” Myrick said. “No matter what this president does, those of you who had reason to be afraid to live in America, those who do not have the full legal protection under the law, those who do not have full protection of the civil rights, do not have the right to vote, to get married, to practice your religion freely, those of you who are living in this community without documentation, have no reason to fear, while my administration is in office.”

The mayor said he will not cooperate with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport undocumented immigrants living in Ithaca.

“We will not cooperate with any attempt to violate human rights,” Myrick said. “We will not cooperate with any attempts to use ICE as a deportation task force [and] we will not cooperate with any unconstitutional attempt to expose you to harm.”

Myrick called threatening to deport undocumented immigrants a violation of American values, and said he will begin working with other public officials soon to coordinate a policy response to any such effort.

“Folks who have lived in America for years feel unsafe. Frankly, that’s un-American,” Myrick said. “Tomorrow morning, I am meeting with the New York City assemblywoman and chair of the legislature to coordinate our efforts. Our intentions would not be secret. We will do this.”

Additionally, the mayor advised Ithacans to remain politically involved and active, even if the results of this election were disappointing.

“We have a new president-elect. Many of us, frankly most of us, did not vote for him. But he [will] be our president anyways. We owe [it] to him to be good citizens,” Myrick said. “But citizenship does not mean we fall in line. It means to remain engaged. If we see something we don’t like, if we see something that threatens us, we stand up for ourselves.”

Myrick stressed that polite discourse is often the most effective form of civic engagement.

“We can [remain engaged] without being rude, crude and disrespectful. In fact, you get better results that way,” Myrick said. “I tell you, from being inside in politics, people who send us nasty emails do not get what they want. The people who are firm but polite, they get the world out of us.”

The mayor concluded by re-affirming that Ithaca will stand by its values. “Ithaca will remain a place of community, a place of refuge. Free and safe for all Americans,” Myrick said.

  • Abe ’14

    So we have a mayor who is going to BREAK federal law. How is this ok?

    If people are here illegally (note: those who have overstayed their VISAs are NOT “undocumented”), then they can be lawfully deported if the federal government chooses to enforce immigration law.

    This isn’t hard or controversial.

    • Alum ’82

      Mr Abe ’14: I’m worried about you. Though I love your generally unenlightened opinions inscribed beneath nearly every single piece of literature that the Sun produces, I’m not sure why a recent Cornell grad has so much time on his hands. Wishing you the best.

      • bob young

        actually old sport, Abe ’14 sounds much more enlightened than you.

      • Abe ’16

        Alum ’82: It’s partially for sport (though I don’t think it hurts to throw in a couple lines with the opposite – legitimate – view just for some semblance of balance). But mostly, I read a sampling of national papers, as well as the student newspapers of my current school and my alma mater. In that time, I took about 30 seconds to write the above.

        But I would love an actual legal argument to dispute what I have said.


        Inconsistent Abe

        • bob young

          Old sport, you want a “legal argument” to respond to an insult you threw at Abe ’14. If anything old sport, you should first apologize to Abe ’14, and then you provide your unenlightened “legal opinion” as to why what Abe ’14 said is wrong.

    • JJ

      Abe, a point of clarification: a person who overstays his visa is, in fact, undocumented until he secures a renewal of the visa (or a new type of visa). Read the 1996 Immigration law.

  • bob young

    This mayor sounds like a leftist radical kook! Glad I dont live in Ithaca.

    • City of Evil

      I am also glad you don’t live in Ithaca.

      • bob young

        Apparently the only jibs that payt well in Ithaca involve either being a marxist faculty member or a marxist politician. Of course if you are neither, then you are screwed, old sport.

  • Onward 2017

    Cut all federal funding to Ithaca City and see if that changes his tune a bit.

    • bob young

      Additionally NY State’s moronic governor has promised to make NYS a sanctuary state.

  • Alumnus

    Mr. Myrick is one of the greatest things to come out of Cornell in the last 10 years. This is great to hear.

    • bob young

      apparently Cornell is now in the business of producing radical kook leftist lawless nut jobs. BTW, when I took my daughter to camous last summer for a college tour visit, our guide told us that Bill ye the no science guy was the most famousalum. PUH-LEEZE!

      • Alumnus

        Bill Nye has done amazing things for the world of science. I can’t even imagine how many young, intelligent students were inspired to pursue science because of him. He literally promoted “science is cool” in millions of classrooms around the country, and probably the world. He’s definitely something to be very proud of, among the long list of other reasons to be proud of our amazing community. Svante is one of them. He’s the youngest and first Black mayor of Ithaca and handily won re-election. We should support these amazing members of our community instead of posting poorly written insults on college news articles. Of course this does not stand true for all alumni, but I certainly stand by Bill and Svante as two wonderful products of Cornell.

        Also, “Bill Nye the no science guy” has a mechanical engineering degree, teaches occasionally at Cornell, and worked at Boeing for a long time. Stop trying to downplay his accomplishments because of your views on undocumented immigrants.

  • Tim Terpening

    It is understandable for the Mayor to support local residents who may not have legal rights because of their not having obeyed immigration laws. But he has sworn to uphold the laws of this country. Therefore, sympathetic as he may be, his duty is to step aside and allow the immigration laws to be enforced, especially with regard to immigrants who have committed additional criminal acts after coming here. He should also support the effort of Mr. Trump to secure the borders, which should have been done a long time ago. Certainly Mr. Myrick wants fairness and order to prevail, so he should generally support curtailing illegal immigration. If he is sympathetic to undocumented immigrants, let him go ahead and support simplifying the immigration procedures to make it easier for people to legally immigrate to America; let him support getting those here documented. This way then I think he has a better argument to support a softening of the harsh rhetoric of deportation, which I think might not be in the best interest of anyone — considering it was WE who left the door open.

    • bob young

      I do not fully concur. Your last statement is equivalent to saying if you didnt lovck your front door, or your car, it would be “nderstandable” for someone to rob your home or car, since you left the door open. Sorry, but I dont buy that last part of your argument.

  • borris batanov

    Tsk tsk … identity politics up to their usual no good: New Pres. of CU is a woman & mayor of Ithaca is a black, even tho blacks constitute no more than 6-7% of the population (<2000 of 31,000). The white male is becoming extinct (except for Trump, who's being badgered and smeared for being a white male). Political correctness does not do away with hierarchies, but merely inverts them.

    • bob young

      Trump will be the most successful president we’ve had since Ronald Reagan. It is morning in America again after 8 years of darkness. What all these libwits running around Ithaca these days dont realize is that sHrillary would have been an abject disaster for America, as have been the last 8 years.

    • Alumnus

      Are you suggesting that black and female individuals have no right to be in a position of power? Why do you feel threatened as a white male? Is it because your centuries of oppressing people who don’t look like you is being challenged? Should Hispanics, Muslims, Asians, LGBT people, black people, and women just have no positions of authority? I don’t really understand what you’re getting at. White men are still extremely privileged.

      • bob young

        Alumnus old sport, you appear to be a rabble rousing racist trouble maker.

        • Alumnus

          What makes you say that I’m a rabble rousing racist trouble maker?

          • eleni

            Alumnus check out what you previously wrote, that is why he called you a rabble racist.

      • borris batanov

        People are not categories. You reduce the world to your base level, where your hypocrisy, self-righteousness, intolerance and narrow-mindedness flourish.

        Rest assured that most of mankind does not concur or conform or give a damn.

        Opportunists, of course, abound, ready to take advantage of the situation for their own purposes. I would guess the mayor of Ithaca is one such knave. Certainly Obama is another.

        One of the most important things I learned at Cornell was independent critical thinking, whether it was for medieval European literature, the paintings of the Han Dynasty or the history of science.

        Universality of mankind supersedes your petty parochialism. In part thanks to Cornell, I see through you.

        • Alumnus

          I’m sorry, but how does any of what you just wrote relate to the fact that you just lamented that a) Cornell’s president is female, b) Ithaca’s mayor is black, and c) that “the white male is becoming extinct.”

          • bob young

            I did not percei e any lamenting old sport, just statement of fact.

          • Alumnus

            Boris literally stated that a female university president, black mayor, and “white male extinction” are all “no good.” That is the definition of lamenting.

        • Ithacan

          The white male is “going extinct” because he used to have all white-collar jobs to himself. Now, he must share the opportunity for success with the rest of humanity. It’s a tough row.

          • bob young

            Unfortunately old sport, today’s white male is permitted to be discrimnated against in favor of less qualified individuals that are minorities, female, or something transgendering.

          • Wtf Bob

            Minorities fighting for equality does not equal white male discrimination. Just because these people want to be treated equally in society does not mean that white males are discriminated against. That’s absurd. You’ve gotten accustomed to privilege, and now that people are checking your privilege, you’re scared and yell discrimination. Your rights are not being infringed upon; minorities’ rights are. And they’re trying to stop it. You can help by not using the phrase “something transgendering.”

          • bob young

            you need to step out of your cornellian bubble old sport, and join us in the real world.

          • Alum

            I don’t live in Ithaca; I live in one of the largest cities in the country and work full time. I’m very far removed from the “Cornellian bubble” that you apparently know a lot about. You said you don’t live in Ithaca, and it doesn’t seem like you’re an alumnus based on you attacking this community. Why are you here?

          • bob young

            yes I am an alum, Mr Alum old sport.

  • Abe ’19

    Can we all just take a moment to ask why “bob young” considers himself to be Gatsby?

    • bob young

      Abe 19 are you related to Abe 14, old sport?

  • zeke

    If Ithaca ever experiences a natural disaster, it would be appropriate for the federal government to not cooperate in any relief efforts. There are consequences to ignoring the law.


    Cut off all federal funding to Ithaca and see if this moron wants to keep his “safe space”

  • Ezra Tank

    The mayor said he will not cooperate with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport undocumented immigrants living in Ithaca.

    “We will not cooperate with any attempt to violate human rights,” Myrick said. “We will not cooperate with any attempts to use ICE as a deportation task force [and] we will not cooperate with any unconstitutional attempt to expose you to harm.”

    Myrick called threatening to deport undocumented immigrants a violation of American values, and said he will begin working with other public officials soon to coordinate a policy response to any such effort.

    What is this garbage? So essentially you have a mayor who wants to commit treason and protect people that have broken the law. He would have been hung during the Revolutionary war as a traitor.

    I hope the new administration charges and jails every one of these leftist mayors with Obstruction of Justice for not upholding Federal law.

    • Hanged, not hung

      They should be jailed like that one time Kim Davis refused to uphold Federal law and was jailed? Or was she?
      During the revolutionary war, Svante Myrick would have, in all likelihood, been a slave, not holding political office.