Here's the story from Long Island's Newsday newspaper:
They are everywhere on Long Island--cashing checks in Hempstead, sharing multifamily houses in Brentwood, trimming hedges in Southampton.
And yet they are nowhere in this year's presidential campaign. Undocumented immigrants--the subject of so much discussion just a year ago--have been forgotten in the rush to discuss America's economic woes.
Immigrants flocked to Long Island during the boom of the 1990s and for a few years after. The Island is now home to at least 100,000 undocumented workers--although those figures, like almost everything having to do with the undocumented, are disputed.
Under current law, those immigrants have almost no chance of becoming citizens, so they live at the margins of society. Two years ago, two high-profile senators, John McCain and Ted Kennedy, sponsored legislation to help put undocumented workers on the path to citizenship.
Should Senators John McCain and Barack Obama go out of their way to "talk" to them? Of course! And the first words out of their mouths should be: "Go back to the country where you legally reside, get in line for a legal visa to the United States, and return legally, not illegally." But then, that wouldn't be very PC, would it?
By Bonnie Erbe