Reps. King, Zeldin seek new immigration court on LI

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Long Island's two Republican congressmen are asking for a new immigration court to be created for cases in Nassau and Suffolk.

More than 23,000 people on Long Island have unresolved cases in federal immigration court, putting both Nassau and Suffolk in the top 10 counties nationwide with the biggest backlog.

Reps. Peter King and Lee Zeldin are requesting a new immigration court on Long Island to cut the immigration-court logjam and combat gang violence.

"It's important for those who have been in detention or those who are awaiting hearings that it be expedited,” says King. “It's also important for the police, if these are bad people, that they be deported."

King and Zeldin sent a letter to James McHenry, the director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, asking him to open one of 75 planned new immigration courts on Long Island.

In the letter, the congressmen stated "Suffolk and Nassau County have absorbed a significant number of Unaccompanied Alien Children, with 1,219 being relocated in Nassau County and 1,472 going to sponsors in Suffolk County in 2017. Pending cases contribute to associated gang violence on Long Island as gang members target youth such as UACs."

“You can't have people continuing to live here illegally, and also it's unfair for people who should not be deported to have this hang over their heads,” says King.

Currently, the closest immigration court is in lower Manhattan.

Immigration attorney Patrick Young says creating a court on Long Island would save time and money.

“I think that will make providing legal representation less expensive for immigrants out here, and I think in many ways it will also create great conveniences for the immigrants and attorneys who work on their behalf,” says Young.

King says a likely location for the immigration court would be in Central Islip. He hopes the feds will give the greenlight soon and get it up and running within the year.

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