Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Regarding A National Anti-immigration Conference On Long Island

This weekend, a number of national groups that oppose U.S. immigration policies will converge on Long Island. A leading civil rights organization has identified some of the participants in this conference as "hate groups."

While I defend the right of the members of these groups to convene and express their views, I certainly do not agree with them. In fact, I find their rhetoric concerning immigrant day laborers to be misinformed and deeply troubling.

The day laborer problem has been particularly difficult in Suffolk County, where this conference will be held. The situation in the county is tense, and the presence of these groups will not lessen tensions.

It is imperative that everyone involved carefully consider their statements and actions. The dialogue on the issue must proceed without hostility.

America is a nation of immigrants and New York - more so than any other state - respects and celebrates this tradition. My hope and expectation is that Long Islanders will reject anyone who seeks to spread an atmosphere of bigotry and intimidation toward day laborers.

My office will continue to explore ways to address this situation responsibly.