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Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s Statement on U.S. Court of Appeals Decision to Strike Down Anti-Immigrant Ordinance in Oyster Bay, NY

For Immediate Release August 22, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement Tuesday after the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision striking down an anti-immigrant ordinance in The Town of Oyster Bay, N.Y. in a case styled Centro De La Comunidad Hispana and The Workforce Project v. Town of Oyster Bay, NY. The ordinance targeted a group of predominantly Latino day laborers who make their living soliciting work in the Long Island town.  The case was brought by two organizations representing Hispanic day laborers against the Town.  The Lawyers’ Committee and co counsel Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP submitted an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals support of the day laborers’ organizations.

“Oyster Bay’s anti-day laborer ordinance was the byproduct of discriminatory, anti-immigrant animus,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee.  “The ordinance exacerbated the already troublesome reality shaping the everyday lives of undocumented day laborers who are subject to exploitation and discrimination that prevents them from being able to support themselves and their families. The court’s ruling is a victory for immigrant communities who, too often, find their rights under attack by this administration.  We will continue to resist anti-immigrant and xenophobic policies that run fully contrary to the principles of inclusion and diversity that lie at the heart of our nation.”

The district court had enjoined a Town ordinance ostensibly designed to regulate the solicitation of work by day laborers.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court holding that these organizations had standing and that the ordinance violated the First Amendment.

About the Lawyers’ Committee:

The Lawyers’ Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination.  Now in its 54th year, the Lawyers’ Committee is continuing its quest “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights

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