State agencies including the State Police won’t be allowed to ask a person about his or her immigration status in most cases, under an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Friday.
Police won’t be able to ask whether a person is in the United States illegally when a person contacts police as a victim of a crime, is a witness or is seeking assistance, according to the order.
State agencies also won’t be able to ask about immigration status unless the law requires it or the information is needed to provide benefits or service.
The executive order is the latest effort by the Democratic governor to combat a crackdown on illegal immigration by the administration of President Donald Trump.
“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,” Cuomo said.
The order states: “The reporting of unlawful activity by immigrant witnesses and victims is critical to strengthening ties between immigrants and law enforcement, reducing crime, and enhancing the State’s ability to protect the safety of all of its residents.”
An executive order doesn’t require approval by the Legislature, but could be challenged in the courts.