11/18/08

LIIA to Steve Levy: Change Suffolk's Immigrant Policies

“My brother left a message, a legacy in this country, one of unity and appreciation.” – Joselo Lucero, brother of slain Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero.

Statement of Luis Valenzuela, Executive Director, Long Island Immigrant Alliance:

The senseless murder of Marcelo Lucero, a good and decent man who lived in Suffolk County for sixteen years, has brought the Suffolk community together to grieve and demand an end to hate.

When Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy delivers an address on race and tolerance on Tuesday, he has an opportunity to distance himself from the divisive rhetoric and policies he and other Suffolk politicians promoted in the past.

Out of this tragedy, there is a chance for Mr. Levy to lead Suffolk toward more practical policies that reduce tensions and build a stronger community.

To start with, it’s time to stop the divisive legislation and instead Mr. Levy and the legislature must seize the opportunity to act on serious proposals that can improve the situation here in Suffolk.

This horrendous crime and other recent attacks on immigrants make it clear that Suffolk police need to formally adopt a confidentiality policy to reassure crime victims and witnesses that they can reach out to Suffolk police without fear of deportation.

Marcelo Lucero need not have died in vain. We can honor his life by ensuring that his legacy is in forging unity and finding solutions.

The Long Island Immigrant Alliance stands ready to work with Mr. Levy and the county legislature on more inclusive policies that promote the well-being of all Suffolk residents.

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