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From Long Island Wins

Immigration: Shouldn’t Politicians 

Be Able To Agree?

Election Day should have marked an end to some of the shouting that’s taken hold of our politics. However, with the fiscal cliff crisis in Washington only narrowly averted, and more legislative brinksmanship apparently on the way, that may have been too much to hope for.

However, there is one thing on which all sides should be able to agree: Common sense on immigration issues.

There’s popular support for that, of course. A common theme between President Obama and those of so many others up and down the ballot was that people who support fair and commonsense solutions to fixing our broken immigration system tended to do very well.

It’s clear that immigrant voters played a huge role in re-electing the President. And immigration played a huge role in mobilizing the Latino and immigrant vote, in part due to unprecedented voter mobilization work by the labor movement, community groups and ethnic communities.

But it wasn’t just candidates who won on the issue. The state of Maryland put their own version of the Dream Act on the ballot, to allow young immigrants who graduate from high school and know America as their home to pay in-state tuition at Maryland’s colleges. Voters in Maryland resoundingly rejected attacks on immigrants and resoundingly voted for a basic and needed immigration reform. Immigration solutions are smart politics. Marylanders can soon expect to discover that it’s smart policy, too, as the state begins to retain more of its most talented high school graduates and see them get to work creating jobs.

And it’s clear that this dynamic will get stronger over time. The current generation of young voters – millennials – are the most diverse voting group in American history. And the generation rising just behind them are even more diverse.

In Nassau County and across America, immigration issues present an opportunity for leaders willing to take them seriously, and a challenge for politicians at risk of being left behind.

President Obama apparently recognized this when he explicitly called out immigration reform as part of his second-term agenda in his election night remarks. So have a number of Republicans, who have begun to call for a change in the party’s recent hard-line stance against immigration reform.

That’s welcome news. But now comes the need to get to work. Working our way towards immigration solutions that work for native and immigrant Long Islanders alike is a challenge too big to leave to one party. Let’s hope, for once, that the folks in Washington can agree.

Maryann Sinclair Slutsky is the executive director of Long Island Wins, a communications organization promoting commonsense policy solutions to local immigration issues. longislandwins.com.


News

Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.

“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”

A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.


Sports

Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.

The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.

In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.

Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.

Calendar

YES Fundraiser

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29

Spring Fashion Show

Wednesday, April 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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