June 7, 2011 View Discussion
by Ted Hesson
Under the organization of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, immigrant rights supporters gathered at the Suffolk County Legislature on June 7 to speak out against two employee verification bills.
The measures would have called for county contractors and licensees to check the immigration status of their employees using the federal E-Verify system, which has been criticized for encouraging discrimination against Latinos and immigrants in the workplace, as well as for inaccuracy.
After hearing from dozens of E-Verify opponents—and only a single backer—the legislature decided to table the bills until a meeting on November 9. By that time, the sponsor of the legislation, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, will be nearing the end of his term in office, and his successor will have been elected.
The move signals a victory for immigrant rights groups, and also shows the extent to which the bills were irrelevant to addressing the needs of the county at-large.
Watch the video below to hear a mix of local immigrant rights supporters explain the misguided nature of the legislation:
Click below to watch a slideshow with images from a press conference in front of the legislature before the beginning of the legislative session:
Later this week, Long Island Wins will have an update regarding a separate bill to require two forms of identification to obtain a prepaid cell phone, although one unconfirmed report says that the bill will be tabled for at least several weeks before coming to a vote.