With 200 people in attendance, including New York State Attorney General Tish James and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, as well as the New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento, the Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, representatives from Long Island’s unions passed and introduced multiple resolutions, but one of the most pressing was their commitment to protecting the immigrant community from this weekend’s upcoming ICE raids.
“Announcing raids on immigrant communities is a clear and present danger to the workforces in the cities they are planned and support the tactics of the low wage employers in these areas,” said John Durso, the President of the 350,000-member Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Raids are projected to begin this Sunday, July 14th in 10 cities, including NY. This threat has sent a chill through immigrant communities on Long Island, with many fearing to leave their homes. Long Island Jobs with Justice is preparing and mobilizing their faith leaders and community advocates to respond to the immediate needs of immigrant workers and their families as they navigate this frightening time.” said Anita Halasz, Executive Director of Long Island’s Jobs with Justice.
Dr. Lillian Dudkiewicz-Clayman, a professor at SUNY Old Westbury, and Patrick Young, Downstate Advocacy Director for the New York Immigration Coalition, presented facts and statistical evidence on the historical and current impact that immigrants have on the workforce on Long Island.
"The announcement of ICE raids is an attempt by the Trump administration to divert attention from its defeat on the Census citizenship question,” said Young. “Unfortunately, it uses immigrant families and workers as props for political cover. Anyone at risk is encouraged to visit longislandwins.com where videos and written materials give up-to-date information. Concerned voters should contact their representatives in Congress and demand that funding for these round-ups be ended."
In addition to the immigration issue, the convention also addressed climate change. Two videos were shown showing the Federation’s commitment to creating a clean environment. Over the past year, the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO has worked on making Long Island a leader in green energy by throwing their support behind off shore wind and supporting a local vote to rebuild communities sewer systems to stop the flow of dangerous chemicals into the Great South Bay.
The Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO also renewed their commitment to the community by passing a resolution supporting Opportunities Long Island, a pre-apprenticeship program that trains young people from economically disadvantaged communities to prepare them for union apprenticeships.
“Opportunities Long Island is a tool to create economic opportunity and to bring the community to our side,” said Roger Clayman the Executive Director of the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Developers claim they are helping the community, but they only provide low wage and temporary jobs. Through Opportunities Long Island we are creating careers for the community and building community wealth.”