Written by Maryann Sinclair Slutsky Friday, 22 February 2013 00:00
Finally (maybe) there’s some good news on immigration reform. There seems to be real movement in Washington on the issue. It seems that now that the people are leading, our leaders are following.
First, a group of eight United States senators revealed a bipartisan immigration plan to reform our broken immigration system. Some of the principles outlined are far from perfect, but the fact is that several conservative Republicans have committed in writing and in public to allowing immigrants an earned path to citizenship, a central tenet that’s necessary to real reform.
Not to be outdone, President Barack Obama countered with a plan of his own.
He noted that it is just not practical to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants living within our borders. His proposal provides undocumented immigrants a legal way to earn citizenship that will encourage them to pay taxes, play by the same rules, and come under the jurisdiction of the law. In the Obama plan, after national security and criminal background checks, paying a penalty, and learning English, immigrants will be able to earn a path to citizenship. Also, his proposal will put an end to punishing innocent young people brought to the country through no fault of their own and let them earn citizenship more quickly if they serve in the military or pursue higher education.
We’ve heard President Obama say the right things before. We’ve even heard his usual opposition in Congress say many of the right things before, too, though admittedly not lately.
What’s important and different this time is the palpable sense that something seems to be happening—that public mood and public moment seem to be in sync.
And that’s good for Long Island. We already benefit from the fact that immigrants come here from around the world to work and contribute. We’ll benefit even more when the system starts working right.
The specifics of this plan are going to be important. We know that there are many politicians who’d prefer a plan that’s designed to punish immigrants and—in the words of Mitt Romney—”encourage them to ‘self-deport’.” We know that many politicians are fine with simply doing nothing at all about this vital issue. And we know that both types of politicians will be weighing in.
So it’s up to us—all of us—to speak out and make sure that we do not miss this opportunity to deliver real change to a broken system.
Dig out. It’s time to get to work.
Maryann Sinclair Slutsky is the executive director of Long Island Wins, a communications organization promoting policy solutions to local immigration issues. The website is www.longislandwins.com.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 00:00
Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, or perhaps an errant interpretation of state law, nearly 2,000 military veterans and Gold Star families in Levittown and Island Trees will have to wait for their tax break until next year.
Both the Levittown and Island Trees school districts are among several local school districts that recently approved resolutions extending the exemption to local veterans, even though budgets and Albany’s tax cap make it a tough choice. Earlier this year, trustees in both districts voted unanimously to provide a school tax exemption for veterans living in the district, starting with the 2014-15 school year.
Friday, 11 April 2014 00:00
In response to the criticism from the community over the proposed sale of 11.3 acres of school district property housing the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow school facilities, the Island Trees Board of Education has revealed the details of an $18 million proposal to develop housing for seniors (age 55 and up).
“People should be aware of the whole story,” said Island Trees Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “There is this perception that [the board] acted hastily... It was not just a quick decision over chump change.”
Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00
Kaitlyn Gerdes and Kelly Gerdes, seniors at MacArthur High School in the Levittown School District, have signed National Letters of Intent to continue playing soccer on the college level at Hofstra University this fall. They will each pursue a degree in exercise science.
Both girls are co-captains of the varsity soccer team and received All-County designations this fall. As sophomores, the twins assisted their team in winning the county, Long Island and New York State championship titles. As a junior, Kaitlyn was designated as an All-
Class player, while Kelly garnered an All-Class designation in her junior year and has been named an All-Long Island and All-Conference player. Kaitlyn and Kelly also play for the Farmingdale United travel soccer team and are peer leaders at their school.
— Submitted by the Levittown Public School District
Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00
An international soccer conference featuring the legendary Pelé is coming to the local area. Soccer as the Beautiful Game: Football’s Artistry, Identity and Politics is at Hofstra University in Hempstead through April 13.
“Pelé transformed and transcended the game of soccer,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. “While the world first came to know him for extraordinary athletic feats, his soccer career was, in many respects, simply a prelude to an extraordinary life of service as a philanthropist and advocate. He understands the power and responsibility his soccer legacy carries, and has used it to improve the lives of others.”
Members of the Long Island Junior Soccer League are invited to join the conference as a guest and at no charge on Saturday, April 12 at Hofstra University. Panels and discussions on Saturday will include experts in coaching, leagues and sports media and were designed with the soccer enthusiast in mind.