To the Editor:
In response to your article “Rumors of ‘hundreds’ of migrant children coming to Riverhead are baseless, say officials, who criticize lawyer’s radio ad making that claim” (May 12), I want to be clear on my position. I support legal immigration and believe immigrants are a strength to our country.
Our town’s infrastructure cannot support the massive influx of immigrants particularly in our overburdened schools. Riverhead is the poorest and most taxed town on Long Island. It is unfair for our taxpayers to bear the burden. And, yes, the school population is overwhelming Latino now.
Our governments at all levels need to do a better job at enforcing our existing laws or coming up with better ones on immigration. A major deficiency is Riverhead’s lack of enforcement of housing standards and officials’ refusal to acknowledge we are a sanctuary city.
While the vast number of immigrants are law abiding, even a few gang members from these countries can terrorize an area. I was appalled that several members of a brutal gang involved in a major drug operation were arrested after peddling drugs openly on our streets. We all know the status of Brentwood where another Central American counsulate is located and where police seem to regularly dig up victims of gang violence from marshes.
Supervisor Aguiar and the rest of the board, like earlier ones, have failed miserably in addressing the impact of the arrival of large numbers of poor immigrants in Riverhead.
The so-called “dumping” of immigrants on Long Island was mentioned on a NYC radio station (whose broadcasters stated the issue has been kept quiet intentionally because of the uproar it would create); present and prior school officials have told me confidentially the same thing. Many officials elsewhere have openly opposed this practice and, as you know, the crisis is so alarming Vice President Harris has arranged to visit Guatemala and asked to address the border crisis.
I’m sorry you did not like the WRIV ad, but our officials need to wake up and remember they work for us.
Editor’s note: Mr. Hariri was unable to provide any sources of any kind to support his allegation that “hundreds” of unaccompanied minors are imminently arriving in Riverhead, as his radio ad claims — a theory he is promoting again in this letter, again without support. He claims unnamed “present and prior school officials” have told him this is happening and that an “broadcasters” on an unnamed “NYC radio station” says “the issue has been kept quiet intentionally because of the uproar it would create.” In our research, we were unable to find anything anywhere that supports the conspiracy theory Mr. Hariri is promoting. We reported on it here. While we agreed to give Mr. Hariri an opportunity to “explain” his position in the opinion section of our website, we cannot let allegations based on conspiracy theories rather than facts be repeated again here without comment.
Support local journalism.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.