L.I. Clash on Immigrants Is Gaining Political Force

L.I. Clash on Immigrants Is Gaining Political Force
The New York Times
November 29, 2004

Everywhere Steve Levy went last year in his successful campaign for Suffolk County executive, he said, he heard the same complaints. A new wave of Hispanic immigrants had swept Long Island, and many residents were furious about the overcrowded homes and lines of day laborers they saw in their towns. They told Mr. Levy they wanted action.

This month, Mr. Levy floated a proposal to deputize some Suffolk County police officers, giving them the power to detain people found to be in the United States illegally after being taken into custody on other charges. Right now, Suffolk police and corrections officers say, they are prohibited from asking immigrants whether they are in the country legally. Mr. Levy’s proposal, which he later amended, was met by objections from the police unions.

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