Fear is at an all-time high for many immigrants in the United States. The news of President Donald Trump’s travel ban and plans to build a wall at the US-Mexican border has caused several of the 526,000 immigrants living on Long Island to feel this country has taken steps back after years of fighting to feel like they’ve belonged.
“Every single thing that we have been fighting for has been destroyed,” said executive director of Long Island Wins Maryann Sinclair Slutsky. “The only thing so far that still seems to be in tact is [The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)].”
President Trump said he plans to repeal DACA, an executive order signed by President Barrack Obama in 2012 which gave some undocumented immigrants who came to the US as minors a renewable two-year period of referred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. Though Trump told DACA recipients “not to worry” and that he would come up with a comparable solution, Slutsky isn’t optimistic and plans to keep fighting for DACA beneficiaries and all disenfranchised immigrants.
“We are doing vigils, demonstrations [and] protests. We are writing to elected officials with petitions because we really have to come down hard on elected officials to not support [these new executive orders] and to protest it themselves.”
Long Island Wins is in the process of organizing a campaign of multi-sector leaders around DACA to meet with elected officials. The aggressive campaign began in February and will continue as a run up to when and if the proposed DACA executive order is signed by President Trump. Should Trump end DACA without a suitable replacement, Long Island Wins will continue to protest.
The organization is also working to get a welcoming 30-second PSA on television talking about the immigrants that have made a home for themselves on Long Island. As a communication organization, staff members will continue to analyze, dissect and explain all the policies to the people, with a special focus on the consequences and those who have been victimized.
“We are going to keep protesting these executive orders. We are going to be relentless about it. And we are going to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters here on Long Island.”