NY a sanctuary state? Not so fast

Feb 9, 2017

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the leader of the state Senate are not as enthusiastic about making New York a sanctuary state as are Assembly Democrats, who passed a bill earlier this week.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and other Assembly Democrats introduce a sanctuary state bill on Monday at the Capitol.
Credit WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen Dewitt

Cuomo, who has spoken out strongly for immigrants and against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, is not committing right now to support a bill to designate New York as a sanctuary state for immigrants.

“We have to review the bill because exactly what a sanctuary state is, is a little ambiguous,” Cuomo said in Schenectady on Wednesday.

Senate Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan has said the measure could prevent police from enforcing federal immigration laws.

“I’m pretty sure that’s not only illegal, that’s unconstitutional,” Flanagan said in Albany on Tuesday.

Even Assembly Democrats, who hold more than two-thirds of the seats in that chamber, managed to approve the measure by just a few votes.