The Hamptons, often plagued by problems of the more vapid kind (i.e. beach parking), has faced a real debate in recent years over the issue of illegal immigration. Day laborers, many of whom are living in the US illegally, found ample work by simply waiting for it at the East Hampton train station in years past, but have since been left with nothing following the the economic downturn. The local bigot parade set up shop at the station a few weeks ago, angrily protesting with such enlightened signs as 'Deport Swine Hund,' hund being German for "dog". Motivated by such prejudice, retired chef and Sag Harbor resident Michael O'Neill decided to bring free lunches to the train station everyday, giving laborers a much appreciated meal, and reminding residents and protestors that the East End should stand for something better. '...I thought it was necessary to show these workers how much we appreciate their contributions to our economy and our culture,' said O'Neill in a refreshingly selfless statement. Local restaurants have contributed to spontaneous program, including Sag Harbor's Bay Burger and the Bagel Shop in East Hampton.
Photo courtesy Panoramio
· Immigrants Without Work Have a Lunch Benefactor [EH Press]