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On L.I., Nuns Educate The Undocumented On Their Rights

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Courtesy of St. Rosalie's
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St. Rosalie's Roman Catholic Church in Hampton Bays, Long Island. The Heart of Maria Center is run by three of the church's nuns.

With the upcoming inauguration of Donald Trump, immigrants who live on Long Island illegally have turned to the nuns at the Heart of Maria Center in Hampton Bays for advice on understanding their rights.

Sister Mary Beth Moore says this has been the most anxious period for immigrants in her six-and-a-half years working at the center.

“The big change is this sense of tremendous uncertainty, what will happen, when will it happen, how will it happen, no one can answer that definitively,” Moore says.

This past Sunday, 70 people turned out for an educational session.

Speakers discussed how to prepare documents and the importance of having an emergency plan. They were also told that immigrants have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

But Sister Mary Beth says those in attendance had one overriding concern:

“The main concern is: What’s gonna happen to us? And the main answer is: let’s stick together and let’s continue to hope because of our faith, because of our friendship with one another and let’s see what happens.”

Moore says she understands the concerns of critics, but says illegal immigration on Long Island is a complex reality.