Today, members of Make the Road New York celebrate another critical civil rights victory for immigrants.
Yesterday, Long Island’s Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano signed the second of two Executive Orders (EO 67 and EO 72) that requires all County agencies to provide translation and interpretation, ensuring equal access to services for more than 130,000 Long Islanders who are not yet proficient in English.
This makes Nassau County one of the first suburban counties in the U.S. to enact such a comprehensive language access policy, and it follows closely on the heels of a similar Executive Order we won with our allies in Suffolk County last year. We embrace this new policy, which welcomes and values all residents regardless of the country from which they hail and the language that they speak.
The Executive Order is the direct result of work done by Make the Road New York, the Long Island Civic Engagement Table (the coalition we created with allies to increase civic participation among working-class people of color on Long Island), New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition, the Center for Popular Democracy, the NYCLU, Jobs with Justice, SEPA Mujer and La Fuente-Long Island Civic Participation Project.
Under the provisions of the Order, all County agencies will:
- Translate essential public documents and forms into the County’s top six languages;
- Provide interpretation services to all Nassau residents with limited English proficiency;
- Designate a language access coordinator and provide the County Executive’s office with annual reports to ensure compliance; and
- Be prohibited from from considering use of language services to inquire about or share a person’s immigration status — a great step forward to renew the trust between immigrants and government agencies, especially the police.
Thank you to our members and supporters for working with us to stand up for the rights and needs of immigrants everywhere.
¡Si se puede!