Suffolk Legislature plans to seek authorization to hire special counsel if asylum seekers come to county
Suffolk legislators are seeking authorization to hire a special counsel to review their options if asylum seekers are sent to the county.
Presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey says the move is for the safety of the county and a product of short-circuited immigration laws.
McCaffrey and other members of the Legislature will be introducing a procedural motion Tuesday to authorize the hiring of a special counsel to look into any and all legal options available to protect the unfunded location of any migrants in Suffolk.
The presiding officer says they are not doing this because they don't have compassion for migrants, but because it is providing a false expectation of hope.
"They have really short circuited the immigration laws to allow people just to come in unvetted across the border into our country," McCaffrey says.
Executive Director of OLA, a nonprofit supporting Latino advocacy in the East End, Minerva Perez says a full conversation should include support that is being offered for counties struggling to accommodate asylum seekers.
"There is a way to support these needs in terms of funding, in terms of procurement," Perez says.
She says some could be granted asylum within as little as 30 days and many have embraced that privilege.
"They are sending their kids to Harvard, the kids are coming back as professionals," Perez says. "We've got a great community as a result of these asylum seekers."
McCaffery, however, says the potential of a large group of asylum seekers in Suffolk County could be bad for public safety and school districts.
McCaffery says they do not expect to take a vote Tuesday but will be filing a procedural resolution and start to look to see what counsel they would want to hire.