Cuomo bans im­mi­gra­tion ques­tion­ing by state po­lice

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

ALBANY, N.Y. » Gov. Andrew Cuomo is­sued an ex­ec­u­tive or­der Fri­day that bars state agen­cies and law-en­force­ment of­fi­cers from ask­ing about a per­son’s im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus.

The new rule also pro­hibits state of­fi­cials from dis­clos­ing a per­son’s im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus to fed­eral au­thor­i­ties, ex­cept in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions such as a law-en­force­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“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, a Demo­crat, said in a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing his or­der. “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.”

Prac­ti­cally speak­ing, the or­der

means New York State Po­lice troop­ers or of­fi­cers with other state law-en­force­ment agen­cies will not be al­lowed to ques­tion a crime victim or a wit­ness about their ci­ti­zen­ship or res­i­dency.

It also means that the state’s pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges would be barred from shar­ing res­i­dency in­for­ma­tion about stu­dents with fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials or the administration of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

The or­der does not ap­ply to lo­cal po­lice or mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ments, a point that Erie County Sher­iff Ti­mothy Howard pointed out in a di­rec­tive to his deputies.

“As sher­iff, part of my job is en­forc­ing our con­sti­tu­tion and the law, re­gard­less

of what cheap po­lit­i­cal points Albany politicians are look­ing to score,” Howard, a Repub­li­can, said in a state­ment.

Groups that work on be­half of im­mi­grants praised the ex­ec­u­tive or­der. Javier Valdes, co-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for the New York Ci­ty­based pro­gres­sive ad­vo­cacy group Make the Road New York, called it a “ma­jor vic­tory” and one of the strong­est poli­cies of its kind in any state.

“It is ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal that New York State em­ploy­ees not be roped into col­lab­o­rat­ing with Trump’s rogue im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment agen­cies,” Valdes said.

Or­ga­ni­za­tions that fa­vor stronger rules on im­mi­gra­tion, how­ever, were dis­pleased — though not shocked.

“It’s not a sur­prise,” said Joanna Marzullo, pres­i­dent of New York­ers for Im­mi­gra­tion Con­trol and En­force­ment.

“A lot of peo­ple are pan­der­ing to what they see as their base.”

The Kingston Com­mon Coun­cil in Jan­uary adopted a res­o­lu­tion stat­ing peo­ple won’t be asked for im­mi­gra­tion-re­lated pa­per­work dur­ing first en­coun­ters with city po­lice. And in April, the New Paltz Town Board adopted a law that bars lo­cal po­lice from per­form­ing fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment func­tions.

The Ulster County Leg­is­la­ture, how­ever, re­jected a pro­posal in June that stated county em­ploy­ees could not stop, ques­tion, in­ter­ro­gate or ar­rest in­di­vid­u­als “solely for the pur­pose of en­forc­ing im­mi­gra­tion law.” The pol­icy also would have barred county em­ploy­ees from per­form­ing the func­tions of fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers and would have de­nied fed­eral agents ac­cess to in­mates in county cus­tody.

AP FILE

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

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