IR 1022 - Promoting Public Safety or Immigrant Pogrom?

Sufffolk County legislators on Long Island are
debating a proposed law that would make it illegal to
stand on county highways seeking work or to
stop along the roads to pick up workers.

The bill known as IR 1022 is designed to improve
public safety according to its sponsors, Suffolk
Legislators Jack Eddington and Joseph Carracappa.

But, according to a New York Times report Eddington
warned illegal immigrants

"You better beware. ... If you're here in Suffolk
County illegally, you will not stay here, ....

If you are on the street looking for work and
causing unsafe conditions, you will not stay.
Suffolk County residents will not be victimized anymore."

County Executive Steve Levy says he supports the
proposed law.

Long Island's immmigrant advocates have severely
criticized the bill and it's intent.

Luis Valenzuela, Executive Director of the Long Island
Immigrant Alliance says the bill is un-constitutional,
unnecessary and racist:

"It infringes on our rights to free speech and freedom to assemble... its not only unecessary, state laws already exist to
deal with traffic issues - but it is racist - in that it targets latinos- day laborers specifically, hard working people who congregate to try to earn a living and to put food on their tables."

Valenzuela says the legislators and county executive
are not solving the problem.

"there is an anti-immigrant sentiment that's prevalent
in some of our Suffolk County communities fanned by
people like Eddington, Carracappa and Levy. "
"A real solution would be providing a place for the
workers to assemble to get work in an orderly manner."

Another hearing on the bill in the legislature's public Safety committee is scheduled for Thursday morning at 9:30 am at the William Rogers Legislature building, 725 Veterans Highway in Smithtown. *

This report was prepared for WPKN/WPKM News, Wednesday March 13.
89.5/88.7 or streaming audio at

The bill is scheduled to come up for a vote in the full legislature next week. Immigrant support groups have urged people to contact their county legislators to tell them not to pass the legislation.

Jay.Schneiderman@suffolkcountyny. gov
75 Washington Street
PO Box 1827
Sag Harbor, NY 11963

Phone: 852-8400
Fax: 852-8404

Edward.Romaine@suffolkcountyny. gov
423 Griffing Avenue, Suite 2
Riverhead, NY 11901

Phone: 852·3200
Fax: 852·3203

Introductory Res. 1022 as amended is available at

The amended resolution still prohibits immigrant workers from standing along county roads, but only if they're obstructing traffic. It also bars motorists from stopping to negotiate hiring terms with workers.

Violators would face a fine of up to $500 for a first offense and $750 for a second offense within six months of the first. A third offense within a 12-month period could garner a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.