Inquiring About Immigration Status: Suffolk’s Policy
Ted Hesson, Long Island Wins online editor, clarifies that the Suffolk County Police Department's policy on inquiring about the immigration status of crime victims or complainants was put in place after, not before, Marcelo Lucero's murder. He writes:
The policy is in place. Whether it is being followed correctly, of course, is a matter that the ongoing Department of Justice investigation will try to sort out...But the timing of the directive--issued just 12 days after Lucero's murder--shows a lack of foresight, at the least, and a dangerous ignorance, at the worst. The Suffolk police department had been pressured by local advocates to institute such a policy for years, but hadn't done so until Lucero's murder shined a national spotlight on the county
Prohibiting County's law enforcement officers from "inquiring the immigration status of any crime victim or complainant," is a small step in the right direction. Marcelo Lucero's murder and subsequent reports indicating that Latino immigrants in Suffolk County have been routinely victims of harassment and violent attacks are a clear sign that Suffolk's policymakers need to do more. New York City's Executive Order 41 is a good model to follow. This order ensures that immigrants can access City services and agencies without fear of uncovering their immigration status.