from Suffolk NYCLU: Talking Points Re Levy Immigration Policy

From Jared Feuer of Suffolk NYCLU:

Below are talking points on the current proposal by Levy regarding use of federal immigration agents or giving county 'law enforcement' personnel 'immigration powers'.

You can also read our letters to Levy at

Contact NYCLU:

jfeuer@nyclu.orgPh: (631) 423-3846; Fax: (631) 423-3847150
Broadhollow Road, Suite PH5; Melville, NY 11747

1). Dangerous New Ground: If, as currently proposed, Suffolk enters into a Memorandum of Understanding, it would be the first local municipality to do so in the nation. Is there a reason no one else has done so yet? It is dangerous, divisive and costly.

2). Battered Women: Battered women groups have come out against this proposal becauseabused women will become less likely to call for police protection in fear that their husbands might never return.

3). Liability: With the exception of workmen's comp, the County would likely beliable for lawsuits over deportation and detention violations and errors. Courtshave found INS liable for similar errors.

4). Unnecessary: A conservative Manhattan Institute study shows that immigrantsare less likely to commit offenses than those who are native born. And a 1994-1999INS study shows that there is a 37% recidivism rate for immigrants verses 66%. If crime is not the reason, then why are we involving law enforcement?

5). Not a Criminal Matter: Being unlawfully present in the US is, generally, nota criminal violation, but rather a civil immigration violation. The police workon criminal, not civil

6). Complicated: Immigration law can't be understood through a ten-week databasecourse. It takes years of knowledge to accurately determine citizenship, refugeequalifications, current status, the visa process, etc. The mistakes could be deadly,especially in the case of refugees.

7). Resource Strain: Almost all costs are carried by the local municipality, includingtraining, feeding, database access, computer systems, food and housing when ICE does not immediately pick up individuals. We can't afford this and the federal government is not interested in helping. Costs will quickly escalate out of control.This is a federal issue for a reason.

8) Opposed by Police: The Suffolk PBA came out against deputization because itwould make their jobs harder to protect all Suffolk residents. The new proposalis a different road to the same destination as before to have mechanisms for deportationbegin when officers show up for their beat. The police have worked hard to fostertrust in immigrant communities, allowing them to do their jobs better. If they can't police those communities effectively, it makes the whole County less safe.

9) Privacy Concerns for All Suffolk Residents: The proposal would provide federalofficials with information on a potentially large number of Suffolk residents, notjust immigrants. How many people are going to get swept up in this manhunt?