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LI WINS 8/3/09

Hi everyone-
In the past few months, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has tried to ingratiate himself with immigrants and Latinos, calling himself a “friend” to Latinos in a Spanish-language newspaper, and trying to wipe away the memory of past anti-immigrant remarks.  But despite the new tone, neither Levy’s rhetoric nor his actions have changed.
During a Monday night event at Captain Bill’s restaurant in Bay Shore, the county executive jokingly asked a Canadian-born attendee about his citizenship status.  Levy went on to say that if the attendee wasn’t a citizen, he would have to deport him, “like the guys back there in the kitchen.”
Sadly, this type of anti-immigrant talk isn’t new.  Levy famously called the tragic murder of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero a “one-day story,” and later compared the incident to a colonoscopy.

In response to Levy’s most recent remarks, the Long Island Immigrant Alliance and The Workplace Project have called a press conference this Wednesday at 11am.  For details, see below. 

What’s in this email?
1. Show Levy That We’re Serious About Deportations
2. Action Alerts
-Halt Misconduct by Immigration Agents
-Call to Action for Long Island Immigration Lawyers
-Join an Immigration Reform Task Force
-Petition Against Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arapio
3. Top Stories
4. Upcoming Events
5. Stay in Touch with Long Island Wins
1. *Show Levy That We’re Serious About Deportations*
As we mentioned above, the Long Island Immigrant Alliance and The Workplace Project will hold a press conference this Wednesday at 11am in response to Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy’s remark about deporting kitchen workers.  We need you to come out and show your support for immigrant rights, and let the county executive know that we don’t think these kinds of “jokes” are funny.  The press conference will take place at the H. Lee Dennison Bldg. (100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY).  For more details, contact Luis Valenzuela at 631-603-4266 or Nadia Marin-Molina at 516-565-5377.  We’ll also post updates on our blog.

2. *Action Alerts*

-Misconduct by Immigration Agents
If you haven’t heard already, a report issued last week* detailed misconduct by immigration agents in New York and New Jersey, citing instances of agents illegally breaking into family’s homes, arresting people who weren’t supposed to be targets, and effectively profiling Latinos.  If you find this report as disturbing as we did, click here and tell Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano that enough is enough*The report was released by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and funded by the Hagedorn Foundation.

-A Call for Long Island Immigration Lawyers

Long Island Wins is working to assemble a committee of Long Island immigration lawyers who support practical immigration policy.  Immigration lawyers have a heightened awareness of the flaws of our current immigration system because they deal with the system on a daily basis.  As for the goals and actions of the committee, those will be decided by the members once the group is assembled.  If you or someone you know is interested, please contact keinhorn@longislandwins.com.  This is a critical time in the push for policy reform and your contributions are vital to our success!
-Join an Immigration Reform Task Force
After successfully rallying support in the fight against New York State’s Rockefeller drug laws, the New York Civil Liberties Union is set to tackle another important issue: immigration reform.  Andrea Callan, who heads up the Suffolk chapter of the NYCLU (and guest blogs here), is recruiting locals to join an immigration reform task force.  Think you can help?  Click here.

-Petition Against Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The Arizona sheriff is notorious for human and civil rights abuses.  Send a message to Homeland Security telling Secretary Napolitano that you want Arpaio out of immigration enforcement.

3. *Top Stories*

Border Storm: The Minutemen Become Heroes of the Right (July 6): This is Part 1 in a comprehensive three-part series detailing the rise and falls of the Minutemen.  Click here for Part 2 and Part 3.
Photos of Benefit for Undocumented Students (July 7): Check out pics from a concert organized by Jobs with Justice to raise scholarship money for undocumented students.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: When Celebrity Trumps Human Rights (July 15): The Arizona sheriff, sometimes touted as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” is actually a shameless media hound whose anti-immigrant antics are unjust, dehumanizing, and a fiscal liability.

Report Finds Widespread Abuse in ICE Raids (July 22): During immigration raids between January 2006 and April 2008, federal immigration agents illegally entered homes, went after individuals that weren’t targets of their operations, and employed racial profiling, according to a report released by the Cardozo Law School and funded by the Hagedorn Foundation.

Immigration 101: Why Can’t Immigrants Be President? (July 23): Pat Young continues his immigration primer with a post about the arcane stipulation that bars immigrants from the Oval Office.
Recommendations for the Suffolk Hate Crime Task Force (July 27): Guest blogger Andrea Callan highlights a need for the task force, which was created in the wake of Marcelo Lucero’s murder, to survey Latino residents in regards to local policing, and to review police hate crime policies.
Suffolk County Immigrants Living in Fear, Pt. 1 (July 28): Considering the recently documented misconduct of federal immigration agents on Long Island–and the tacit consent of such actions from Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy–how can area immigrants trust law enforcement and local government?
4. *Upcoming Events*
August 12
At “Invisibility: A Case Study of Latinos on Long Island,” moderators Margarita Espada, artistic director of Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja, Inc., and Luis Valenzuela, executive director of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, facilitate a dialogue on race and racism.  Register here. (Patchogue Theater, 71 E. Main St., Patchogue; 5:30-8pm; free, light supper served).

5. *Stay in Touch with Long Island Wins*
Please contact info@longislandwins.com to submit immigration-related news stories, events, requests for speakers, and your suggestions on how to engage Long Islanders on these important issues.  If you are interested in internships or volunteer opportunities, contact keinhorn@longislandwins.com for more information.  To join our Facebook page, click here.

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