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May 18, 2018

King, Zeldin ask feds for Long Island immigration court
By Victor Manuel Ramos

Two local congressmen have asked the federal government to attack the large backlog in deportation proceedings and immigrant petitions from Nassau and Suffolk counties by opening an immigration court on Long Island. A letter from Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) and Peter King (R-Seaford) said such a move could help in the fight against gangs, as the federal government pursues a crackdown on MS-13 that includes removing from the country alleged gang members who are immigrants. “The backlog in immigration courts is a result of years of policy failures under prior administrations,” the letter states. “ . . . Suffolk and Nassau County could efficiently use these resources to address the backlog as well as prioritize incoming cases related to gang violence.” The letter, sent on April 25 and released this month, follows a January report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University that showed Nassau and Suffolk among the top 10 counties nationwide for the size of their immigration backlogs, with more than 23,000 pending cases combined. The letter references nearly 2,700 unaccompanied minors resettled on Long Island in the 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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