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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 64/No. 35September 18, 2000

Immigrants on Long Island counter chauvinist campaign
Photo - see caption below 
Immigrant workers demonstrated on Long Island August 31 in Farmingville, New York, as the Suffolk County legislature held a hearing on a proposal by legislator Joseph Caracappa to sue the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), demanding it arrest undocumented workers in the name of "public safety." The overflow crowd at the hearing was polarized between supporters of the anti-immigrant measure, led by the rightist group Sachem Quality of Life, and dozens of immigrants who rallied against it, carrying Mexican flags and signs declaring "No human is illegal" and "Stop racism." Among them were representatives of the Tepeyac Association of New York. The proposal was voted down 9-8.

The anti-immigrant campaign has targeted day laborers who are picked up at street corners by construction and landscaping contractors. Sachem Quality of Life thugs have picketed the day laborers every Saturday in Farmingville, calling for their arrest and accusing immigrants of causing crime, disease, and other social ills.

Last year Caracappa proposed a measure to prohibit contractors from stopping their trucks on the streets to hire workers, which was defeated, and another anti-immigrant ordinance limiting the number of people who may occupy a rental house, which was passed. Many immigrant workers are forced by high rents to live crowded together in homes.

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