Suozzi continues push for immigration reform

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Congressman Tom Suozzi and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran in a press conference discussing the now 10 migrant children at MercyFirst in Syosset who were separated from their families at the border. (Photo by Gretchen Keller)

Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) is among the members of Congress pushing for immigration reform in the wake of a family-separation policy that was widely condemned.

“The policy of separating children from their families at the border was immoral and un-American,” he said in a statement last week. “Instead of bad policies, implemented poorly, we need to strengthen our border security, while crafting comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the urgent issue of the DREAMers and provides a pathway for over 11 million people to live legal and productive lives in America.”

Suozzi’s statement came shortly after he toured a facility in Syosset that was caring for 10 migrant children who had been separated from their families at the southwest border. That followed a trip to Texas the weekend before with eight other members of Congress to inspect the Tornillo Detention Facility and the U.S.-Mexico border near El Paso.

In his statement, Suozzi said he “will do everything I can to help expedite the reunification of these children with their moms and dads.” He also said he wanted oversight for the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the Department of Homeland Security, the two organizations that carried out the separation of families.

Since President Donald Trump took office last year, Suozzi has supported migrants who entered the country illegally on several occasions, especially those who are eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He defended the program on the House floor in January and held a news conference last fall with several DACA recipients, or Dreamers, from the 3rd Congressional District.

Although he spoke out against separating families, Suozzi did not elaborate much on his specific immigration preferences. He said that he is “a strong believer in border security” during the Syosset news conference and that the two parties need to work together on immigration reform.

During an interview on C-SPAN last week, Suozzi said that more agents and detection equipment are needed at the border. He did indicate that he would compromise on a border wall favored by Trump.

“I don’t think the wall’s the answer,” he said. “But if you want to put some physical structures up in some places as part of a compromise, OK, I’ll support that.”

He said immigration reform needed a bipartisan approach, although he was unwilling to support an immigration bill taken up by the House last week (it was overwhelming defeated). He said the bill was a compromise between Republicans, not between the two parties.

Some Democratic members of Congress and candidates have called for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency created in 2003. Efforts to reach Suozzi or his staff for his position on ICE were unavailing.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at ltorrance@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

1 COMMENT

  1. Personally speaking, this election I vote this for candidates who prioritize citizens over illegal aliens, those who oppose sanctuary cities, amnesty and taxpayer funded in state college tuition discounts for illegals. That means no Democrats and no RINO’s.

    When will politicians and people in general figure out that when you reward illegal immigration with jobs, amnesty, drivers licenses, discounts for college tuition, scholarships encourages MORE illegal entry.. Illegal immigration negativity effects our economy from employment to use public services. Just debating this in congress is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars….. thank the parents. Another concern is the real “immigrants” who have waited in line? The “dreamers” don’t care about them, but we as a country should.

    People fleeing persecution? or people fleeing for freebies? they don’t stay in Mexico when they reach safety or ask for political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them nothing. So they make the long journey to our border.

    We have over 800,000 dreamers (authorized illegal aliens) and probably another 2 million non DACA illegals in our country taking jobs. These are jobs American citizens have lost or are in competition for.They are not all picking strawberries as the MSM / Democrats would like you to believe. Nor are they children or kids. (another MSM / Dem deception.) America is not splitting up families, that decision is theirs. I dont know how these dreamers can wave goodbye to their parents being deported but they do so every day. Its ALL about them. Selfish. With over 100,000 veterans homeless you would think that would be a priority Not so.

    Just some of the costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children and grand children as has been passed on to us

    The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the billions spent on bilingual education for illegal aliens.

    *Currently city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollarsfor legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported and to sue our own Government..

    *2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At $21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison U do the math.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) WIC, & free school lunches.

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