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Sep 13, 2013 3:55 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Vigil Calls For Renewed Push For Immigration Reform

Sep 17, 2013 4:49 PM

As intervention into the crisis in Syria has been put on hold for the time being, some Southampton Town residents want Congress to shift its focus back to another controversial issue closer to home: immigration reform.

More than 100 people from throughout the town gathered last Thursday night, September 12, at the Church of St. Rosalie in Hampton Bays for a vigil to pray and rally for comprehensive immigration reform legislation to be written into law.

The U.S. Senate passed legislation earlier this year to create a path to legal residence, not full citizenship, for undocumented immigrants already in the country, but the bill has not yet been brought to the floor of the House of Representatives—something that vigil attendees want to correct.

Last week’s event was organized by Centro Corazón de Maria, a nonprofit organization run through the local Roman Catholic church, to help Hispanic immigrants learn English and obtain food, health care and legal assistance. The vigil featured live music, Biblical readings, shared prayers and testimonials from undocumented immigrants about their journeys, as well as their current lives in the United States.

“Due to the dire international events, this has been pushed off the radar,” said Sister Mary Beth Moore, one of the Catholic nuns who runs Centro Corazón de Maria. “But we think this is an important issue that Congress cannot lose sight of.”

With a population of nearly 4,000 Latinos, according to the latest U.S. Census data, Hampton Bays is an area where the desire for immigration reform is felt passionately, Sister Moore said. She estimates that one in six Latinos in the hamlet are undocumented.

One of the undocumented immigrants who spoke at the vigil shared, with translation assistance from Sister Moore, her journey over the Mexican border and across the deserts of the Southwest, suffering from thirst and hunger, unsure if she and her family would survive.

“We came here to seek a better life,” Sister Moore translated for the woman, whose name was not shared by vigil organizers due to her illegal status. “We didn’t come here to harm anyone.”

Another undocumented immigrant sharing her story was a self-described “dreamer”—the moniker given to immigrants brought to America by their parents at a young age—and she explained how she came to understand her legal status in the United States as she grew older.

“Since I was so little here, I didn’t comprehend what it meant to be illegal,” said the woman who also declined to share her name and read her remarks in both English and Spanish. “I only started to comprehend that when I was old enough to look for a job to earn some money and help out around the house.”

The 22-year-old is one of more than a half a million young undocumented immigrants now under the protection of a measure implemented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security last year, called Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, which provides temporary protection from deportation for individuals brought to the United States as children, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The woman said although she is grateful for this temporary protection, more needs to be done to help those who do not qualify for it. “Deferred action has helped me,” she said, “but I know there are many other people who need help, too.”

The vigil, which was conducted in English and Spanish and included a group walk around the church accompanied by songs in both languages, also provided attendees with postcards to be signed and sent to U.S. Representative Tim Bishop of Southampton—who represents the majority of Suffolk County in Washington, D.C.—voicing support for a path to citizenship for undocumented people.

Oliver Longwell, Mr. Bishop’s aide, said the congressman has long supported immigration reform and would vote for a bill that creates a path to freedom while shoring up border security and regulating the migrant workforce.

“He supports a comprehensive approach,” Mr. Longwell said of Mr. Bishop. “He thinks that’s the best way to get this done right.”

But Mr. Longwell also noted that leadership in the House of Representatives has made it clear that Senate version of the bill will not be brought before Congress, meaning a new piece of legislation would have to be drafted.

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Go to Red Creek park on week-ends and you will find hundreds of undocumented spanish speaking immigrants.They abuse health care they abuse schools and they get paid in cash and they pay no taxes.We pay higher shool taxes for them,higher health care for them and they get the cash.Nice no?
By dany (33), Water Mill on Sep 13, 13 5:26 PM
How can you tell the undocumented from the documented...? Is it like gaydar??
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 13, 13 5:30 PM
3 members liked this comment
too many spaces after post, looks like topic is ended.
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Sep 14, 13 10:12 PM
Nature, do you really deny the problem (or do you just enjoy reading your own drivel)?
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Sep 15, 13 12:56 AM
I don't dispute a problem - but there is literally no way to determine someone's legal status by looking at them. It seems there are a lot of people who don't want to accept that hispanics could actually be US citizens, either born here or arriving here through legal channels.

It's bigoted statement and serves no purpose.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 15, 13 10:10 AM
3 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Sep 15, 13 10:16 PM
2 members liked this comment
Marlinspike is the perfect example of the lazy American, unwilling to research or listen to facts and solely dependent upon news sources like FOX and Preliator for their "facts".

"Obama cell phones"?! That is a complete, total, unadulterated BS. And either you know that and choose to say it otherwise, or you share a shell with Turtle.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 3:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
No, babyboo, it is you who is wrong. Completely wrong. A fact which is easily verifiable with just a bit of resource from a reliable, unbiased fact source like Factcheck.org

Here is the TRUTH about the free phones (that have absolutely nothing to do with Obama)

SafeLink Wireless, the program mentioned in the e-mail, does indeed offer a cell phone, about one hour’s worth of calling time per month, and other wireless services like voice mail to eligible low-income households. ...more
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Sep 16, 13 3:59 PM
Marlinspike and Captn Crunch are the picture of manic teabaggery. Facts mean nothing to them. Their answer to everything is talk louder.
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Sep 17, 13 9:38 AM
Why are they called Obamaphones since that fee was established during the Bush administration?
By East End Golfer (9), Montauk on Sep 17, 13 8:35 PM
Remove ones head out of the sand nature. There isn't a sign at the border that says free medical free jobs no taxes come on in.Sister Moore is yet again mixing a political subject with the Catholic Church. Since she nor the Catholic Church pay any taxes they don't realize what a burden illegal aliens have been. I'm tired of hearing the sob stories of immigrants who came here uninvited. Break the law and you shall be rewarded with citizenship and all the freebies that go with it. This country is ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 13, 13 8:14 PM
immigrants paying no taxes is a complete fallacy which has been debunked in study after study.

From the Huffington Post:

"The study, conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a non-partisan research organization, says that the country's 11.2 million undocumented immigrants already collectively contributed $10.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010 -- mostly through sales and excise taxes, but also via property and income taxes -- and that that number ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 13, 13 8:21 PM
3 members liked this comment
Actually your wrong illegal aliens use approx. 800 billion in public schooling, unpaid medical, welfare, and numerous other service. It has been the single biggest problem in California for their past deficits. I don't consider 8 illegal kids living in a house that pays $6,000 in property taxes a bonanza for a school district. Stop reading nonsense made by political organizations with an agenda and use common sense
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 13, 13 10:26 PM
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has announced that illegal alien parents in the county will collect a projected $650 million in welfare benefits in 2013. The data was collected from the Department of Public Social Services. When you add the $550 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for healthcare, the total cost for illegal immigrants to county taxpayers exceeds $1.6 billion dollars a year. These costs do not even include the hundred$ of million$ of dollar$ spent ...more
By loading... (601), quiogue on Sep 17, 13 11:24 AM
3 members liked this comment
Illegals don't pay federal and state income taxes because they don't have a VALID social security number.
Our local scholls are paid for , in large part, by property taxes. Before the illegal invasion a large family was 4 or 5 kids, the norm was 2 or 3, and the property taxes were enough to pay for our schools. Now there are areas (Tuckahoe for example) where there are a few families living in many of the homes and each of these families sends 3 or 4 kids to school on roughly the same tax dollars. ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 14, 13 7:39 AM
Bigfresh and Chief, i am curious of where you get your figures from. Nature offered a direct citation to his comment and validates his figures though they seem low. I remember an independent study done stating that undocumented immigrants cause a net possitive effect on the economy. As far as your comment relating to the multiple families in a single household, as long as they are paying rent the landlord is to blame as if he is willing to receive money from each family for rent he should pay ...more
By HBresident (24), Hampton Bays on Sep 14, 13 7:55 AM
2 members liked this comment

Ok, the debate continues. The days of supporting every living creature are coming to an end because of lack of resources. No matter what, the land of the free will become the land of the law abiding. Those capable of supporting themselves will be forced to do so. What's left will be for those who cant.
Only a matter of time at this point......
By Rayman (64), southampton on Sep 14, 13 8:09 AM
Can we please stop with all the pc crap. You are not here legally so you are illegal not undocumented. I understand you want a better life for yourself and your family, hell we all do. Now do it legally.
By Flannery66 (9), Hampton Bays on Sep 14, 13 10:59 AM
I'll jump in on this with my own simple theory, the housing situation is out of control. I really could care less if they are illegal or illegal, they shouldn't be allowed to live with 10 families in one house. It's unfair, unsafe, and unhealthy. Start enforcing the law and see how fast things start changing.
By unjustifiedjustice2 (35), East Quogue on Sep 14, 13 11:11 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Adnil (1), westhampton beach on Sep 15, 13 8:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SidViscuous (26), on Sep 16, 13 3:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
We lived in HB for 30 years so we know what happened to our poor little town. That's why we got the hell out of Dodge. You can't win and you will never have your town back. Either learn to speak Spanish, invite every relative you have to live with you, work off the books and collect welfare, keep having babies and claiming you don't know who the father is, and buy a leaf blower or leave. Believe it or not, there are still places where the illegal immigrant has not taken over. But if you live in ...more
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Sep 16, 13 7:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
Agreed. I'm always amazes when I go to Florida that there are no visible loitering areas like our 7-11 and that there are non-Hispanics doing lawn work, construction, cleaning, etc. I don't need to speak Spanish to do anything there. (I'm not talking about south FL). Is it because you have to establish residency there for 1 year in order to get any government handouts? Same day freebies in NY.

I have a hard time trying to explain to people from out of the area what has happened to The ...more
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 3:34 PM
Laziness is not an excuse for ignorance. It is very easy to do a search to see that you are completely incorrect. Q333 there are at least 740,000 undocumented workers in Florida, with or without "government handouts." Speaking of which, why don't you actually identify what gov't handouts undocumented workers are eligible to receive (and don't use Glenn Beck)

Conservative dolts cannot have a serious conversation about immigration because they focus on lies and hyperbole.
By SidViscuous (26), on Sep 16, 13 3:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
And that's a good thing? And yes they get handouts when they have children here and the children are citizens so suddenly the american taxpayer has to kick in to support these anchor babies. Why don't you buy a house in Hampton Bays next to an illegal motel and put your family where your mouth is.
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Sep 16, 13 7:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
A serious conversation about immigration? Its not immigration it's illegal immigration.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 17, 13 7:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
Hey Vicious,
I never said there aren't illegals in FL. Maybe they're all doing farm work and not taking or/or lowering the wages for the jobs that Americans do want. What I did say was that the loitering. housing, and speaka no english issues that have deteriorated The Hamptons just aren't TOLERATED elsewhere.

And while I'm on the subject, just DAYS after the story appeared about the prostitution sting in Riverside, I drove past women standing on 24 and cars were stopped and talking ...more
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Sep 17, 13 3:06 PM
Liberals refuse to use e-verify for employment because they will lose some of their illegal voting powers. Liberals do not want voter ID either because their constituents are too dumb to fill out the forms. At least that's what is being inferred by their actions.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 16, 13 4:05 PM
3 members liked this comment
"liberals will lose some of their illegal voting powers"? What does that mean?

And there you go again with wanting to require voter id.......please show me where the Constitution says anything about this.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Sep 17, 13 10:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
The Constitution says citizens have the right to vote. How else would you know if someone has the right if they have no ID to prove there citizen? We also have a right to bear arms where in the Constitution does it say you need a license? Don't look too hard because it doesn't say anything about a license. People have been abusing voting and abusing guns so maybe we need ID for bolt.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 18, 13 8:53 PM
You're not going to be happy till we live in an Orwellian state, are you?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Sep 19, 13 10:32 AM

As of Jan 2013, I am no longer a registered voter in NYS but I still show in the NY books entitling me to vote in 2 states. The system is sloppy and therefore ripe for fraud.
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Sep 19, 13 11:47 AM
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released 2,837 convicted illegal criminal alien sex offenders back into American communities in order to comply with a Supreme Court decision authored by Clinton-appointed Justice Stephen Breyer, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The 2,837 sex offenders represented five percent of the 59,347 deportable illegal aliens that have been released from detention under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs ...more
By loading... (601), quiogue on Sep 16, 13 10:17 PM
All i have to say is AMERICA IS FOR AMERICANS period!!!! So....CENTRAL AMERICANS, SOUTH AMERICAN's and Europeans should go back....?
By YajaNaranjo UreƱa (1), on Sep 17, 13 8:02 PM
No, Yaja, they should go to the back of the line. The United States OF America abides by the Rule of Law, which must govern the immigration process. Amongst the duties of the federal government in the Constitution is the duty to secure the national border. Thus background checks are done in order to ensure immigrants aren’t criminals or terrorists. Also, it must be proven that immigrants will utilize their right to migrate by working and that they won’t become a burden to other citizens. ...more
By loading... (601), quiogue on Sep 17, 13 10:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
Hippocrates-Greek physician, father of western medicine
hypocrite-noun \ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit\
: a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who comments in a way that disagrees with Philathome
By loading... (601), quiogue on Sep 19, 13 3:04 PM
^^^^^ looks like the crazy train is off the tracks again!
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 19, 13 9:04 AM
$ 1 6 , 7 4 5 , 8 2 1 , 8 6 6 , 5 4 2 . 3 5
By They call me (2826), southampton on Sep 23, 13 2:30 PM
No union card no work, GOT ME cuz im fo real
By local 84 (353), riverhead on Sep 23, 13 6:42 PM
I'm not the one who applauds attacking the poor, minorities and others who suffer because of republican indifference.

By philathome (6230),

I am poor, I waited in line, I learned English and I am a libertarian. We do you assume and stereotype so much Mr Phil ?
Why should these people jump in front of everyone ? Why should I now have to pay for services they want to obtain illegally ? take it from me if you went to me country illegally you would not get food stamps you would ...more
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Sep 23, 13 6:48 PM
scrutiny,,, that's what's we're lacklin'
By loading... (601), quiogue on Sep 24, 13 11:31 PM