For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross Posting
Monday, September 20th, 2021
Media Contact: Viridiana Vidal, firstname.lastname@example.org, 702-206-2110
Long Island, New York – After reports of the arrest of a Long Island man accused of targeting hispanic day laborers, driving them to remote locations and attacking them, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) Executive Co-Director Nadia Marin Molina made the following statement:
“History repeats itself in Farmingville in these attacks and attempted murder of day laborers this past weekend. These hate crimes are the direct result of provocative rhetoric that deliberately demonizes migrants. We cannot remain silent.
“We still remember Marcelo Lucero, and sadly we are reminded that not only have we not escaped this hatred that wants to see us disappear – but we see it being promoted, incited by local and national officials.
“As local and national officials come up with more excuses to continue to deny immigrants’ pandemic relief and legal status in this country, we must know that this violence is a foreseeable consequence of that dehumanization.
“If Long Island’s local and national leaders want to honor Hispanic Heritage this month, they could do more than offer empty congratulations, and instead take concrete steps to protect day laborers and immigrant members of the community. Today, that could start by denouncing this white supremacy that wants to see us disappear, to reaffirm unequivocally that day laborers are our neighbors, and not going anywhere.”
For over twenty years, day laborers have sought work on street corners in Farmingville, Long Island, subsidizing the local construction and service industries, as they earn a living and support their families.
According to the news report by NBC NY, “19-year-old Christopher Cella of Selden was arrested Sunday and he was charged with several hate crimes in the alleged attacks of at least the three men, one of whom he tried to choke. The attacks occurred within a 24-hour period.” All three workers who were attacked – that police know of – managed to escape and no one was killed.
In 2008, Ecuadorian immigrant and Long Island worker, Marcelo Lucero, was murdered in a gruesome hate crime committed by high school students. The high school students in that case had said they were out to “f-ck up a Mexican.”
After four years of the most virulent, anti-immigrant president in US history, hate crimes have continued to increase in New York City, doubling since this time last year, and have hit a 12 year high across the United States. Recent mass shootings have specifically targeted immigrant working people, including the massacres of 8 eight people in Atlanta, GA in March 2021, and 23 people in El Paso, TX in August of 2019.
** As there may be other victims, NDLON urges anyone who knows anything about these crimes to come forward, to contact the police, NDLON, or another community organization. **