Immigration Issues in Focus

The Forum on Immigration held last Friday in Hampton Bays organized by Southampton Town Councilperson Anna Throne Holst, NY Assemblyman Fred Thiele and US Congressman Tim Bishop was supposed to shed light on immigration issues by presenting just the facts about this topic. It was also to re-start a dialog on the topic.

Read one account of the forum in the Sag Harbor Express.
(if you have a strong stomach - scroll down below the article and read the racist comments it elicited)

And please look at an interview with Anna Throne-Holst in that same periodical.

Here is our comment prompted by the interview, also posted on the Express Website:

Ms. Throne-Holst says “We don’t have the power to crack down on people who employ undocumented workers.” But does’nt the Southampton Town Board
have the power to establish and enforce a minimum or living wage law? *

Some of the angry people at the forum - viewed on SEA-TV on Southampton Town’s web-site - were professional anti-immigrant agitators. Others were local citizens upset that low wage workers are being hired by unscrupulous contractors and that those contractors who do not hire un-documented immigrants are the victims.

Some time ago a foundation offered to fund a hiring center for day-laborers in Southampton which would have regularized the hiring process and helped prevent the abuses by certain contractors who hire undocumented workers at low wages, often failing to pay the wages due.

Past Town Boards have vetoed the establishment of such a center. So the low wage employers are able to continue their abuses.

While we wait for the Feds to act - eliminating the “illegals” by
making them legal would make sense - there are things we can do IF we have the will.

* Ms. Throne-Holst advises: The Town does not have the power to enact minimum wage laws - only the State or the federal government can do that.