There’s no Democratic Party way or Republican Party way to provide constituent services.
That could be the mantra for State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside), whose district office received a record 1,792 cases last year, 396 more than in 2016.
Peralta said much of the constiteunt services deals with housing, immigration, public safety and quality of life. The number surpasses the previous recod -1753 cases handles in 2012, when then-President Barack Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The policy to protect DREAMers from deportation triggered the visit of hundreds of young New Yorkers to Peralta’s office to inquire if they would qualify for the program.
“Constituent services is at the core of the work we do in the office, and I am very proud of the professionals who help and guide residents as they face problems in a wide variety of issues,” said Peralta. “Last year, as is the case in the beginning of this one, problems relative to housing, quality of life and immigration were at the top of the complaint’s list.”
In response to the large number of complaints regarding housing and immigration problems, Peralta, in cooperation with the CUNY School of Law Community Legal Resource Network, are providing free legal services to constituents in need.
“Clearly, there is a spike in discrimination cases in the district, mainly when it comes to housing and immigration. I am not going to tolerate this kind of behavior and allow anyone to treat my constituents as second-class citizens,” Peralta said. “I am glad I was able to partner with the CUNY School of Law to provide much-needed legal assistance to my constituents.”
In 2017, it was Peralta who uncovered several cases of housing and immigration discrimination. In one case, he denounced a landlord in Corona who required tenants to prove their immigration status or face eviction. In another case, he condemned another property owner in his district for refusing to rent an apartment to a mother and her 4-year-old daughter.
“These two particular cases were particularly appalling and unacceptable. I represent the United Nations of all Senate Districts and it was extremely shocking to learn how immigrants are discriminating against other immigrants,” Peralta said.
Peralta said that if any constituents need free legal services regarding housing or immigration, to please contact his office at (718) 205-3881 and make an appointment.