In 1982, Tony Martínez, then 13 years old, fled civil war in El Salvador with his parents and siblings and resettled on Long Island, part of the first wave of Salvadoran immigrants in the U.S. After college, he worked as a labor organizer and a carpenter before entering politics and eventually became a councilman in the Town of Babylon.
Now, Martínez’s star is on the rise. In November, Suffolk County Executive-elect Steve Bellone selected him to serve as a co-chair of his transition team, and Martínez’s name has been mentioned to succeed Bellone as Babylon Town Supervisor.
I recently sat down with the Wheatley Heights resident to learn more about his experience as an immigrant on Long Island, and about his views on immigration policy issues.
Hear Martínez talk about growing up as an immigrant on Long Island:
Councilman Martínez on language access, immigration enforcement, and how Steve Bellone will address hate crime in Suffolk County: