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NYCLU Urges Suffolk Legislators To Reject Proposed Anti-Immigrant Bill

The New York Civil Liberties Union today called on lawmakers to reject Introductory Resolution 2025, a bill before the Suffolk County Legislature that attempts to change federal immigration law by imposing special penalties on employers who fail to verify the immigration status of their employees. The NYCLU articulated its concerns in a letter to Suffolk County lawmakers explaining that the proposed legislation is unconstitutional and violates the constitutional principle that local government cannot override federal law.

The New York Civil Liberties Union today called on lawmakers to reject Introductory Resolution 2025, a bill before the Suffolk County Legislature that attempts to change federal immigration law by imposing special penalties on employers who fail to verify the immigration status of their employees.

The NYCLU articulated its concerns in a letter to Suffolk County lawmakers explaining that the proposed legislation is unconstitutional and violates the constitutional principle that local government cannot override federal law.

“It is well settled law that the federal government has the exclusive authority to regulate immigration and thus determine whether and under what circumstances individuals may enter, stay in, or work in the United States,” wrote NYCLU Legislative Counsel Udi Ofer, Suffolk County Chapter Director Dolores Bilges, and Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “Suffolk County cannot write its own immigration rules.”

The NYCLU also joins other Suffolk County advocates, including SEIU 32BJ, Long Island Immigrant Alliance, the Workplace Project, Jobs With Justice, and scholars from Hofstra Law School, in a news conference today opposing the legislation. Advocates will argue both that the law violates constitutional principles and that it would foster rampant discrimination against citizens and non-citizens alike.

“Laws like this one serve no function and take an enormous human toll,” Ofer said. “If I.R. 2025 passed it would be an invitation to vigilantism and discrimination. Suffolk residents must come together to stop this abuse of power.”

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