Peter King spent 20 years as the master of the 3rd Congressional District in Eastern Nassau County. This year he is running in a re-mapped 2nd Congressional District, which is the most Latino district on Long Island. Two of the largest villages in the district, Brentwood and Central Islip, have been the epicenter of a burgeoning immigrant empowerment movement pioneered by CARECEN and the Long Island Immigrant Alliance and now including the groups in the Long Island Civic Engagement Table. This redistricting should give Peter King some problems in the future.
In the early 1990s Peter King was a run of the mill Republican on immigration. By the late 1990s he had become a leading light in the anti-immigrant movement when he became the principal advocate of English-Only in the House of Representatives. King’s antagonism to immigrants is obvious from his campaign website. Instead of having an issues section on “Immigration” as most such sites do, he has only an “Illegal Immigration” section.
King touts his support for a 700 mile long fence along the border and calls for the Federal government to utilize “the most advanced military technology and equipment at the border.” King also supports “imposing heavy fines and prison sentences for companies that hire illegal immigrants”, even though this will increase discrimination against Latinos legally in the United States. He opposes the DREAM Act and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
King has made attacking Muslim immigrants a signature issue of his term of office. He champions the anti-Muslim cause he calls “DEFENDING AMERICA AGAINST ISLAMIC TERRORISM.” His publicity-seeking hearings putatively linking American mosques to terrorism have been blamed for raising hatred of Muslims. He promises that if re-elected he will “hold hearings on Muslim radicalization.”
In 2004, King told Fox News that “no American Muslim leaders are cooperating in the war on terror,” and that “80-85 percent of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists …. This is an enemy living amongst us.”
Vivianne Falcone is a teacher challenging the ten-term Congressman. She is a strong critic of King’s attempts to divide Long Islanders along racial lines.
Major Cities, Villages, and Regions in District:
Seaford, Massapequa, Amityville, Babylon, Islip, Sayville, Brentwood, Central Islip