President Trump will be visiting Long Island Wednesday morning for a forum on MS-13. The trip has put law enforcement and local elected officials in the position of having to decide whether or not they want to attend the event. Advocates for immigrants are urging them not to.
For Republicans, the decision appears easy. Congressman Peter King helped organized the event, Congressman Lee Zeldin will be flying with Trump on Air Force One, and Congressmen Dan Donovan from Staten Island will make the trip.
Some Democrats had an easy choice, too. They weren’t invited. Congresswoman Kathleen Rice’s office found it curious to get snubbed, especially since she’s a former prosecutor and chairs a subcommittee focused on MS-13. Congressman Tom Suozzi and Sufolk County Executive Steve Bellone also weren’t invited.
Democrat and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was invited, and will be attending. In a statement, she said she would be seeking more federal funding for combating gang violence. Community groups were disappointed with Curran’s decision.
Anu Joshi, with the New York Immigration Coalition, said, “While we can understand that she very genuinely wants to stop the threat of gang violence on the Island, Donald Trump has made it very clear that he is not actually interested in the mechanisms that would actually do that. All he wants to do is promote his anti-immigrant agenda.”
Police commissioners from both Suffolk and Nassau are expected to attend, along with recent victims of MS-13 violence.