Here is a report we prepared last month that did not get posted here._____________________________________________
The meeting covered a wider variety of topics than were expected by
the organizers and this is just a sampling of what was covered:
A forum on housing problems for immigrants on Long Island's South
Fork became a wider debate on immigration Monday evening July 10
as members of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps joined in a meeting
called by OLA, the Latin American Organization of Eastern Long Island.
Questions about affordable housing and about overcrowding in rental
houses were debated by East Hampton Town Board member Deb Foster
and attorney Steve Grossman of Sag Harbor.
Foster said that "Right now, out of every 10 houses in East Hampton,
7 are owned by 2nd Homeowners; 3 by people who live there year round
- working class."
She said East Hampton Town has a 4 point program to create affordable
housing opportunities. They expect to build 70 units this year of which half
She added that "None of these programs are available for undocumented
workers and that's caused some anger and resentment from recent
Foster said her priority is to house members of families who have been in
the Town for years and can't afford to own a home.
In relation to raids on houses with overcrowding she said it's done for safety
and is not racially motivated.
Attorney Steve Grossman challenged the assertion, referring to vacation
home renters, he said "We've had illegal share houses for the 25 years I've
been here. I have never seen one raided by 8 law enforcement officers,
some with masks, at 5 o'clock in the morning"
Grossman said we need dialog, not arrests.
Ron Lewandowski of the Minutemen had a different perspective. He talked
about an invasion of immigrants. He said there is "a complete invasion, social,
economic and cultural. These people who are here now have no idea of
wanting to become American citizens. They've taken our jobs, they've taken
over our neighborhoods."
East Hampton architect Amado Ortiz says contractors who don't withold
workers' taxes are a problem. The contractors cite fictitious loopholes in the
tax law but the IRS says the employers are responsible for collecting the tax.
Ortiz added "We're suffering from an epidemic of civil disobedience.
Thousands, if not millions of American employers are defying their own tax
laws in the interest of basically making a lot of money".
This report was prepared for broadcast on WPKN Local News heard
6:30pm Monday-Friday on WPKM 88.7 Montauk/WPKN 89.5 Bridgeport "