Featured Story
07/15/19 10:29am
07/15/2019 10:29 AM

Roughly 250 people gathered on Main Street in Riverhead Friday night, standing in solidarity with the tens of thousands seeking asylum into the United States at the country’s southern border — and in protest of the inhumane treatment occurring at ICE detention centers. READ

Featured Story
07/26/18 5:21pm

Three people on the North Fork were arrested during a five-day sweep by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers as part of an operation that led to 65 arrests throughout New York City and Long Island this month, the agency announced Wednesday. READ

Featured Story
03/02/18 6:00am
03/02/2018 6:00 AM

A quickly growing rapid response network on Long Island aims to connect locals with immigrants living daily with the fear that they maybe deported.

The systems are organized by Long Island Jobs With Justice, a coalition that supports immigrants’ rights.  READ

Featured Story
09/22/17 6:00am
09/22/2017 6:00 AM

A handful of times this past summer, Carolyn Peabody traveled into New York City to attend the court appearances for a family friend’s son, who had been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. His family, she said, had been “very good” to Southold Town. READ

04/29/17 6:01am
04/29/2017 6:01 AM

Through hosting citizenship classes at the Riverhead Free Library, Millie Rios often fields questions from her students regarding immigration policies and consequences — especially since Donald Trump has taken office.

Ms. Rios said she’s always made an effort to answer the questions herself or bring speakers to class, but decided the community at large would benefit from a larger public forum.

READ

Featured Story
03/24/17 6:00am
03/24/2017 6:00 AM

Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched a series of operations across the country, prompting discussions about how local police departments should handle immigration.

Police chiefs on the North Fork have shown that they’re on the same page when it comes to policies involving undocumented immigrants, which remain unchanged and ultimately leave matters of immigration up to federal officials and ICE.

READ

06/24/13 5:00pm

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | The 7-Eleven store in Cutchogue is now looking for new employees.

In the aftermath of last week’s federal seizure of a pair of North Fork 7-Elevens, many local customers have been asking the question, “What happened to the store’s former employees?”

Federal immigration authorities said that while the 7-Eleven raids were focused on the owners and managers of the raided stores — including the franchises in Greenport and Cutchogue — 20 workers were taken into custody for questioning on their immigration status.

Of those workers, 18 were from the New York area, while the remaining two are from Virginia, said U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement public affairs officer Khaalid Walls.

Authorities are still evaluating the workers’ cases and have not reached any conclusions in their cases, Mr. Walls said, adding that the government is focused on effective immigration enforcement that “prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators.”

“ICE is evaluating each case to determine eligibility for prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to focus resources on the agency’s stated priorities,” Mr. Walls said. “Such decisions are based on the merits of each case, the factual information provided to the agency and the totality of individuals’ circumstances.”

The Cutchogue and Greenport 7-Elevens are currently in the process of  hiring new staffers. “Now hiring” fliers and employment applications have been on display in the stores since last week’s raids.

The eight people arrested for their role in the illegal 7-Eleven operations all pleaded not guilty and are being held without bail, a U.S. Attorney spokesman said.  Azhar Zia, the final defendant indicted for his role in the scheme, remains at large, officials said.

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06/18/13 2:31pm

It was business as usual at the Cutchogue 7-Eleven Tuesday morning, where a steady stream of customers entered the store looking for their coffee fix.  There was, however, one notable exception: the employees some customers said they knew on a first name basis were nowhere in sight.

The 7-Eleven was among 10 Long Island locations, including the Greenport store, raided Monday by federal agents as part of a nationwide immigration and identity theft investigation. Eight male and one female 7-Eleven owners and managers were arrested for conspiring to steal the identities of more than 20 citizens, then hiring dozens of illegal immigrants to work at the 10 7-Eleven locations on Long Island and two more in Virginia, federal officials said.

The accused gave the illegal immigrants, who were of Pakistani and Filipino descent, false names to dodge authorities, stole portions of their wages and forced them to live in housing the defendants owned, according to a federal indictment.

Brenden Moschinger, who lives in Southold, said he stops at the Cutchogue 7-Eleven every day on his way to work. Today, he exited the store carrying a tray loaded with a frosted donut, coffee and a large soda.

“It’s kind of sad because they’re all hard workers,” Mr. Moschinger said of the store’s employees. “I guess nobody really knew they were working for almost nothing.”

“I haven’t seen [the owner] in a long time,” he said. “He didn’t seem like he would do that kind of thing, but I guess money gets the better of you sometimes.”

Wendy James, who lives in Cutchogue and has been coming to the store for the past 15 years, described the situation as “really sad.”

“I’m not sure what to think,” Ms. James said. “All these people were kind of our friends. I just wonder if any of the people were legal and if they will be coming back.”

The news also came as a surprise to customers who arrived at the store in Greenport just before it reopened Monday afternoon.

“Wow! That’s interesting,” remarked J.P Groeninger of Bohemia, who was in town to perform at the nearby Shakespeare in the Park. “The staff is always nice to me.”

Bill King of Orient called the news “wild.”

“The staff is pretty nice,” he said. “But I guess a couple of them were undocumented folks. There’s a lot of that around here.”

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