Curran on flip-flopping accusations: 'That is political opportunism'

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MINEOLA -

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran's position on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in the county has Republican lawmakers accusing her of flip-flopping, to which she says: "That is political opportunism at its best."

Initially, Curran gave ICE until Jan. 31 to vacate the county jail property in East Meadow. Then the Baldwin Democrat said ICE would relocate to the nearby Nassau University Medical Center property. Both moves drew backlash from lawmakers, police union officials and immigrant advocates, and even caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who said the move was the result of "radical Democrats."

Now, ICE is allowed to stay at the jail until a more permanent solution is worked out.

"Well I don't know how any Nassau resident at this juncture can feel confident in anything the county executive says," Republican Legislator John Ferretti says. "She flip-flops and changes her position on a daily basis."

And GOP Legislator Steve Rhoads says: "What we've received from this administration with their flip-flopping is a continuous series of half-measures."

Curran says she is not a flip-flopper and that the term is only being used to score political points.

"I think it's pathetic," Curran says. "Taking an emotional, divisive issue and scoring cheap political points -- not only is it inaccurate, it's an outrageous lie and it's irresponsible.

Last week, Newsday's editorial board criticized Curran for changing position on a series of issues, including ICE, the property tax assessment rate and whether to open shuttered police precincts. Curran defends her record.

"You make the calls as best you can at the time with the information that you have; that is what I will continue to do," she says.

Political consultant Michael Dawidziak says regardless of whether Curran is a flip-flopper, her record of changing course on key issues has provided her opponents with an opportunity.

"What you're basically doing is saying to your opponent, 'Here, here's the club, hit me over the head with it,' because they're going to," Dawidziak says. "That's the way it works in politics."

News 12 asked Curran if she will allow ICE to remain on jail property permanently. She said that she and the police commissioner are in talks with ICE about a resolution that "works for everybody." But she didn't elaborate, only to say that the talks are ongoing.

Related stories:
Curran accused of flip-flopping over Nassau ICE decision
Curran allows ICE to stay at Nassau jail, for now
Advocates, rights groups denounce Curran's decision to move ICE in Nassau
President Trump blasts 'radical Democrats' for pulling ICE from Nassau jail
Curran, law enforcement at odds over evicting ICE from Nassau jail

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