Latino advocacy group says Riverhead town supervisor's declaration of emergency could put community in danger

Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar told News 12 declaring a state of emergency was in her town's best interest

Joe Arena

May 19, 2023, 2:46 AM

Updated 373 days ago

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A Latino advocacy group in Riverhead is criticizing the town's decision to declare a state of emergency ahead of the possible arrival of migrants.
Latino Advocacy Group (OLA) of Eastern Long Island supports Latino advocacy in the five East End towns. Its executive director, Minerva Perez, says the town supervisor's emergency declaration is putting migrants into a category with a negative connotation.
Perez says the supervisor's response could potentially lead to members of the Larino community being put in danger.
"You're creating an unsafe scenario for all members of your community in Riverhead, because people are going to be thinking that they are in a state of emergency and they are going to be hearing someone speak Spanish or look different and assume they are under siege of some sort," Perez says.
Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar told News 12 she was well within her right to declare a state of emergency because she had confirmed that certain facilities in the town were going to be violating town code by agreeing to house asylum seekers. She says it was in her town's best interest.
"This is a state of emergency only to deal with our code and not have an influx of individuals," Aguiar says.
Some who live in the town of Riverhead say that they had to go through serious backgrounds checks to eventually become a citizen, and everyone should be subject to those checks.
The town supervisor also says that as of right now it does not appear that asylum seekers will be sent out to Riverhead.


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