Nassau DA Reaches Out to Illegal Immigrant Crime Victims

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) -

Law enforcement officials in Nassau County said Monday they plan to reach out to illegal immigrant crime victims and encourage them to cooperate with prosecutors.

Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said at a news conference she is appointing an assistant D.A. to focus on the issue.

“Open communication and a sense of trust among victims, witnesses and the criminal justice system is essential to effective prosecution, regardless of the languages spoken or documentation status of victims and witnesses,” said Singas, who was joined by county police officials and others.

She said immigrants are often the targets of fraud, unscrupulous employers and landlords. They also are less likely to cooperate as crime witnesses, either because of language barriers or distrust of law enforcement.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, about 20 percent of the 1.4 million Nassau residents are foreign-born.