New York County’s Employment Proposal Is Discriminatory And Unnecessary

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
January 24, 2008 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – A proposal by Suffolk County, New York lawmakers that would require that all 15,000 licensed contractors in the county prove their employees’ working status amounts to political posturing that promotes discrimination, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union.

“The federal government already has laws in place regarding employment of immigrants,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. “This legislation is an invitation for employers to discriminate against people entitled to work but who speak Spanish or otherwise appear ‘foreign.’ It is political pandering at its worst.”

The measure, if successful, would be the first of its kind in the state and follows a highly controversial 2006 law that requires contractors doing business with the county to confirm the legal status of their employees.

“The government’s role is to protect us from discrimination rather than promote discrimination,” said Seth Muraskin, Director of the Suffolk County chapter of the NYCLU. “This political posturing will only make it difficult for honest, hardworking people to work and feed their families. Our Suffolk County officials must respect our core American values and reject government-sponsored xenophobia once and for all.”

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