Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in Hauppauge. (July 31, 2012)

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in Hauppauge. (July 31, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone joined immigrant advocates yesterday marking the second year of a campaign celebrating immigrants as key to the future of the region.

Two dozen advocates were at the event to support National Welcoming Week, an effort that lasts until Sunday to share stories of immigrants in communities throughout the United States.

The advocacy outreach to make more Long Islanders aware of their immigrant heritage will “create a stronger community” for all, said Hendel Leiva, an organizer with immigrant-advocacy group Long Island Wins.

The event was also a chance for Bellone to highlight improved relations between immigrant advocates and the county administration, which pursued a language-access initiative to translate key county documents. He also recently spoke publicly for comprehensive immigration reform.

Bellone said the “Welcoming” campaign “sends a message to all of our residents, native born and immigrants who are here ... that we care about you and understand the contributions that you are making.”

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