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Community And Civic Groups Protest Inhumane Evictions Of Immigrants In Suffolk County

Community And Civic Groups Protest Inhumane Evictions Of Immigrants In Suffolk County

Statement by Jared Feuer, Executive Director of the Suffolk NYCLU WHO: New York Civil Liberties Union, Long Island Immigrant Alliance (LIIA), community organizations, religious leaders, union representatives, immigrant workers. WHAT: Speak out to protest continued evictions without notice or relocation plans and inhumane treatment of immigrants. Presentation of petitions to County Executive Levy’s office. WHEN: Wednesday, July 6, 2005 at 10:30 AM WHERE: In front of the H. Lee Dennison Building, Hauppauge The community and civic groups join the growing chorus of calls upon the Suffolk County Executive to ensure that:

  • Tenants should receive adequate notification before eviction.
  • Evicted tenants should be given shelter immediately.
  • Evicted tenants should receive assistance with finding appropriate long-term housing.

Statement by Jared Feuer, Executive Director of the Suffolk NYCLU at the July 6, 2005 Press Conference on Farmingville Evictions When Newsday notes that Suffolk residents are living in the woods, then it’s time to admit we have a problem. When Newsday reports that homeless laborers are so afraid of being caught that they must secretly sneak their cardboard mattress in and out of the woods after every day of backbreaking work, then you have a tragedy. When Newsday repots that landlords are now throwing residents out on the street in fear that they too might be raided, and elected officials note this as proof that the system is working, then you have a crisis. This crisis calls for reasonable, compassionate, and dedicated service by our officials. Instead, rather than helping the victims of a predatory landlord, elected officials used an authority intended to protect the health of the involved residents, and put them in even further danger. Despite legal restrictions offering thirty-day notice, these individuals were given no such opportunity, and without time to secure additional housing, they were put on the street. But does housing even exist for them? Decades of exclusionary zoning have created a region of three million that does not offer a diverse selection of housing for its diverse population. As a result, we end up with modern day tenements, elected officials making inflammatory statements, and communities that dance in the street when Latino workers follow one of the dark paths in American history, and become this generation’s African American, this generation’s Irish, this generation’s Jews? Imagine if that house was filled by any other ethnicity – would you have people celebrating in the street and elected officials who cheer them on? We understand that there are tremendous pressures faced by County Executive Steve Levy and the Town of Brookhaven. Current leaders did not create the foundation of today’s problem. But they have two paths – one is the low road of xenophobia – the other is the American path of compassion and inclusion. We ask that our elected officials become figures that our children can look up to, and not only protect against predatory landlords, but offer notice and due process to all residents, provide shelter, take bold and real steps to ensure that your entire population is sheltered, and become a leader in the reconciliation and promotion of our community’s diversity.  


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