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May 4, 2010 3:58 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Demonstrators rally on May Day at Hook Mill for immigration reform

May 4, 2010 3:58 PM

About 30 people rallied in the hot sun on Saturday afternoon, calling for immigration reform on a day that is recognized internationally as one for workers’ rights.

May Day, which is also known as International Workers’ Day, is often marked around the world with street demonstrations, and Helen Fitzgerald, an East Hampton community activist, said it was just a coincidence that the most dramatic and controversial immigration reform law in the country was passed in Arizona just a week before.

“May Day has historically been a day when the workers of the world unite,” she said. “But I think it heightened the interest in the topic that this law was just passed.”

Organized by the Amityville-based Long Island Immigrant Alliance, participants congregated around Hook Mill in East Hampton and a larger group, organized by the group Neighbors in Support of Immigrants, met at Lola Prentice Park in Southampton. Luis Valenzuela, the executive director of LIAA, attended and spoke at both rallies, Ms. Fitzgerald said.

In East Hampton, the group, which included representation from the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee, held up signs in both English and Spanish, that called for comprehensive reform and with slogans like, “Reform not raid.”

Betty Mazur of Amagansett attended the rally and said it lasted for about an hour and seemed to receive a positive response from passing cars.

“A lot of people were honking and giving us the thumbs up,” she said. “That’s always encouraging.”

Jeanne Frankl, a member of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee, said she and other town Democrats attended the rally to show their support for the Latino community in East Hampton and their hope that this year will bring positive reform in Congress.

“We feel that there are many, many immigrants making a very strong contribution to our community,” she said. “It’s really very important that those contributions be recognized and that reform make it comfortable for them to be here. We wanted to let the community know that we will work with them to help make that happen.”

Of the new Arizona immigration bill, which was signed into law on April 23 and calls for law enforcement officials to request documentation from anyone they think could be an illegal immigrant and arrest those that can’t provide it, Ms. Fitzgerald said it “goes against the Constitution,” encourages racial profiling, and she said she hopes Congress will draft new, comprehensive legislation by the end of this year’s session in July.

Ms. Frankl said she found the rally “moving” because of the mixture of people, young and old, Hispanic and non-Hispanic that took part in East Hampton and around the country.

“With all the meaningfulness of May 1,” she said. “I think we all wanted to weigh in and be a part of that national statement.”

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By housewife (79), east hampton on May 5, 10 10:53 AM
Immigration reform can't begin until the borders are closed. It will only encourage more to break the law. Liberal democrats see this reform as votes, in November. We cannot reward those who broke the law. My grandfather was an immigrant but he came through Ellis Island and was legal.
By housewife (79), east hampton on May 5, 10 10:54 AM
3 members liked this comment
How can some one have the nerve to say it goes against the Constitution??
Some of these people are here illegal here and should go.
Arizona is over run with this problem and if this country does not act soon and enforce its law's the whole country will be over run.
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on May 5, 10 7:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
The law that was recently passed is one of the most racist and barbaric things anyone could have done. It takes a lot of ignorance to pass a law like that. What would you do if your family was starving and your friends were being murdered on the street? The immigrants here want to leave this country just as much as you want them out, but sadly their home countries don't have the security the U.S. does. People in general cannot be illegal. They are here illegally because they have no other choice. ...more
By yourgardener (3), Southampton on May 5, 10 9:28 PM
Same comment different article spammer. People can be illegal when they are in a country that they are not a citizen of, do not have a Visa or have overstayed their Visa with no attempt to extend it. When they are present in this capacity, everything they do and everywhere they go.... they are illegal.

As for if they are sent back to their homes they will most likely live in extreme poverty.... this is unfortunate, but not our problem until their are no impoverished and starving citizens ...more
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 6, 10 6:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on May 13, 10 2:05 PM
So if you have no other choice..you should steal and commit murder if that is your option? Why don't they stay in their own country and demand reform..instead of putting their lives on the back of hard working citizens in this country? Don't get me wrong, I certainly believe in LEGAL immigrants..but you have no clue of what you are speaking. AZ wrote a law that mirrors the federal law. They have 500,000 illegals that are costing them too much in school taxes, health care, etc. add into that ...more
By BeachGal (72), Hampton Bays on May 14, 10 6:38 PM
How many of the "demonstrators" were immigration lawyers? Most people demonstrate when the purse is being threatened.
By jim (48), hampton bays on May 5, 10 11:48 PM
2 members liked this comment
yeah, how can people have the nerve to say that racial profiling is profoundly unfair and obviously unconstitutional.
People out of status with CIS (immig. dept) by their well recognized hard work have been the wings under our economy during the past decade and a half and have kept the Great Recession from being a great depression. They have earned many times over the right to find a path to residency.
You can bet that the hypocrites who show off their exquisite allergy to illegality do ...more
By mo (89), Sag Harbor on May 6, 10 12:00 AM
Well said, Mo. Aside from being clearly anti-American this legislation is, actually, unconstitutional and will be proved to be so. The law usurps the authority of the federal government.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 6, 10 9:24 AM
It is neither anti American nor unconstitutional. As for usurping the authority of the Federal Government, wrong again it just provides the State a mechanism for determining wether or not someone is eligable to be turned over to the Feds, where the will enforce the law.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 6, 10 6:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
unfortunately Peoplefirst is partially right. It does usurp the constitution. States do not have the right to enforce the law the federal Gvt is supposed to be enforcing. Does that make sense... Gvt lawmakers at there best .
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on May 10, 10 4:43 PM
we will see wont we
By 27dan (2854), south hampton on May 12, 10 4:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
This matter is not easily resolved. The first step is regaining controle of our borders. Once that s done a fair treatment of those here illegally must be developed. Deporting the criminal element must be high on the list, so without effective controle of the borders, this deportation would fail. The rest can then be resolved rather more easily..
By Lost Tribe (66), East Hampton on May 6, 10 1:50 AM
I always enjoy the pro-illegal washed up draft dodging libs like we see in the photos(all 5 of them in a county w/ 1mil people). These cretins swoop down from their million dollar gated villa and decide that being an illegal is ok and we should just deal with it since we are just working stiffs and the lowest you can go on their caste system. Their only interaction w/ illegals is when Jose or Juan comes to clean the pool or mow the lawn.

What they don't see is the emergency rooms being ...more
By politcal pawn (121), Flanders on May 6, 10 11:12 PM
I do feel for these people and their plights , however I feel for my people and their plights as well . We were born here legally and we've always done things the proper way ... what really upsets me is when you get a guy like Tim Bishop claiming these people fill a need and my fellow Americans are filling the unemployment lines ... I get particularly upset when I go to a construction site and see it filled predominately with latinos , many of whom are probably NOT paying taxes ... and than go ...more
By AndersEn (174), Southampton on May 8, 10 6:55 AM
3 members liked this comment
AndersEn makes a very good point about the money flowing out of the country through Western Union. This highlights another part of the problem, many of these illegal aliens do not want to become citizens, they are here to make money and send it to their home countries.

Look to Marcelo Lucero who was murdered in Patchogue by the group of teens or at least by the one who stabbed him. He was here illegally, he had come on a Visa over 16 years ago. He just stayed, working two jobs and sending ...more
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 8, 10 2:47 PM
It is the very best foreign aid that is possible. Person to person. U.S. foreign aid could only wish to be so effective as the hard working souls sending money home. It doesn't go to a bureaucratic agency with high administrative costs. It doesn't go into pockets of politicians. It doesn't go into the myriad ways that money corrupts. It goes to a person;s family, a grandmother in need of medicine, to a daughter who can pay for school supplies, to a brother who can buy fertilizer for the corn, to ...more
By mo (89), Sag Harbor on May 9, 10 3:29 AM
US foreign aid isn't for the people of those countries it is for expanding our influence and control over the world. I have no problem with someone who LEGALLY come here pays INCOME tax, SS tax, FICA and medicare chooses to send their money home. It is theirs at that point, they have not cheated the system, so while I would rather see it spent in this country they have EARNED the right to do with it as they please.

As for Marcelo Lucero he would be alive today had he ran and not chose to ...more
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 10, 10 4:52 PM
I hate to break it to you but those weren't thumbs you were seeing as people drove past.
By tuckahoetrip (46), Water Mill on May 8, 10 10:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
I would love to keep the Spanish and send the unions to Mexico....lol
By 27dan (2854), south hampton on May 12, 10 4:25 PM
One of the solutions that could be very effective is to go after the employers. The people being exploited here are the clients and the illegals. No employer gives you a "break" on his invoice because he paid less for that worker and did not pay the government social security, medicare, unemployment, federal and state tax. The employer's profit margin, which is much higher with illegals than legal workers, goes into his pocket.
By bigbol (1), Southampton on May 13, 10 9:48 AM
Sounds like some bitter grapes bigbol
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on May 13, 10 9:12 PM
I say go after the employers and the illegal aliens. The clients who choose the lowest bidder can figure what they are getting and deserve it.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 13, 10 10:31 PM