On September 14, a range of groups from across Long Island joined a national day of action against a bill that would mandate all employers to check the immigration status of employees using E-Verify, a federal database frequently criticized for returning inaccurate results. The rally took place in front of the Massapequa Park office of Congressman Peter King, who supports the legislation.
For more info about E-Verify, click here. Scroll down for a slideshow with images from the rally.
Here are some of the people who came out for the day of action, and what they had to say about the bill:
“It’s going to kill jobs, it’s going to impact all of our small businesses…Someone like Peter King will tell you that the system is 97 percent effective, but that 3 percent represents real, live human beings.”
—Luis Valenzuela, executive director, Long Island Immigrant Alliance
“Immigrants are contributing to Long Island: They pay taxes, they start businesses—they’re renewing the American Dream.”
—Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, director of Long Island Wins, on why we should welcome immigrants, not support counter-productive policies
“We don’t have people to pick the crops…We’re going to have to import produce and once again outsource a basic industry.”
—Nancy Dwyer, Pax Christi Long Island (far right)
“I know what racism is—I lived it. Peter King is a racist.”
—Rev. Thomas Humphrey, Long Island Men’s Center
“This is about dividing America; this is about pitting the poor against the poor…it’s about the rich having as much money as they can get.”
—Michele Lynch, 1199 SEIU (center)
See the slideshow below for more images from the rally:
Photos by Ted Hesson.