CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — Protesters plan to gather on Long Island Friday where Attorney General Jeff Sessions expects to deliver remarks to law enforcement on gang violence.
Known as Long Island Wins, the group plans to demonstrate outside of the Central Islip Federal Courthouse where Sessions and New York law enforcement will meet.
“In the context of the recent tragedies in Central Islip, Jeff Sessions has to decide to come to Long Island and use this difficult moment for our communities to advance his hateful anti-immigrant agenda and turn this into a political issue,” the group says on its web page.
They add, “It is not about politics—it is about making our communities safer. Mr. Sessions’ sole purpose is to criminalize immigrant communities and create division. We will not allow this!”
However, former Suffolk County Executive and former New York Assemblyman Steve Levy wrote Wednesday in a column in the Long Island Business News that gang violence in Central Islip grew as a result of local officials not cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
“The problems in Brentwood and Central Islip were exacerbated by county policy that broke off cooperation with the FBI and signaled we would be less cooperative with the Feds in enforcing detainers to deport violent illegal aliens. Thankfully, that policy has been reversed, but much damage was done,” Levy wrote.
Levy continues, “It is time to stop the political correctness and rid our streets of those here illegally and killing our youth. It is long past time Share with federal authorities the names of all MS 13 members either presently or previously incarcerated with the intent of having them deported if they are here illegally.”
MS-13 gang members are said to be involved with 11 Suffolk County murders. This includes the brutal slaying of two teenage girls who were slaughtered with machetes and baseball bats near a Brentwood school last September
Ahead of Sessions’s visit, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to Suffolk County on Wednesday and announced a new anti-gang initiative intended to deal with MS-13.
“They are a network that has created horrendous crimes,”Cuomo said, who was surrounded by law enforcement and local leaders, The New York Times reported. “Their currency is fear and intimidation, and they are getting more outrageous and more obnoxious in their activities.”
However, Cuomo did not connect his visit to Long Island to Sessions’s.
“We’ve been talking about this for the past couple weeks,” he said. “I can’t speak to what the attorney general is doing.”
Sessions is expected to begin his remarks at 10 a.m. about efforts by the Justice Department and local law enforcement to combat violent crime and restore public safety.