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Gov. Cuomo Bans State Agencies From Asking About Immigration Status

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Photo Credit: Contributed

ORANGE COUNTY, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo's new executive order will prohibit state agencies, including state law enforcement, from inquiring about a person's immigration status unless they are investigating illegal activity.

"As Washington squabbles over rolling back sensible immigration policy, we are taking action to help protect all New Yorkers from unwarranted targeting by government," Cuomo said in a statement. "New York became the Empire State due to the contributions of immigrants from every corner of the globe and we will not let the politics of fear and intimidation divide us."

The executive order, signed on Friday, is the latest in Cuomo's efforts to put state-level protections in place for immigrants.

In March, Cuomo launched the Liberty Defense Project, the nation's first public-private immigrant legal defense initiative, to respond to the surge in demand for help that is overwhelming nonprofit organizations serving immigrants. The partnership is supported by more than $10 million in funding to offer legal assistance and representation to immigrants in New York

Orange County is working to prevent immigrant rights as well. District Attorney David Hoovler launched the Immigrant Affairs Initiative in 2016 in an effort to help immigrants negotiate the criminal justice system.

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