ICE to Move to Nassau Hospital

Nassau University Medical Center (Photo by Sullynyflhi from Wikimedia Commons via Long Island Wins)

In what Long Island Wins’ Patrick Young calls an “outrageous move,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Tuesday that she will let ICE relocate to an unused building at the Nassau University Medical Center. The agency has been working out of a trailer at the nearby Nassau County Jail. [Editor’s note: According to Newsday, six federal agents work at the location. The story noted: “The move came less than two hours after nearly 100 law enforcement union officials gathered in Mineola to protest Curran’s decision, which ordered ICE agents to vacate the jail property by Jan. 31.”]

The decision compromises the medical care of the thousands of immigrants who use the medical center every year. Having ICE on the grounds of the county’s public hospital will create fear of going there for treatment among immigrants. Although the County Executive has said that ICE will be in an area not used by patients, immigrants know, by her announcement, that ICE is at the Nassau University Medical Center. They will also see ICE vehicles coming and going at one of the facility’s Carmen Avenue entrance. In addition, the many immigrants on the staff of the hospital will be fully aware of the presence of ICE at their workplace. There is no reason to think that they will keep this fact a secret when they return to their communities from work each day.

In other cities and counties around the country hospitals are fighting to keep ICE off of their property. As far as I know, this is the first time a hospital has invited ICE onto its grounds.

Apart from the move itself, what “shocked” community organizations about Curran’s decision? Find out at Long Island Wins.

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