New York is in a Sanctuary State of Mind
Jennifer G. Hickey
California proudly carries sanctuary state status on the Left coast, but New York is busily establishing itself as the foremost “welcome mat” on the other coast.With a re-election campaign ahead, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has adopted the language of the “Resist” movement to caricature and oppose any effort by the federal government to enforce U.S. immigration laws.In a March speech to a non-profit serving New York Hispanics, Cuomo sent a warning to congressional Democrats that they “better stand up and not build his wall.”He recently called the administration’s decision to include questions about citizenship on 2020 census forms as “a gross political act,” “anti-immigrant,” charged that it “will undermine the accuracy and the legitimacy of Census data,” and praised the decision of the state attorney general to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging the change.When he is not speaking for illegal immigrants, he is spending on them. Tucked into the massive $168 billion budget approved late Saturday night was $5 million for the Liberty Defense Project, a public-private partnership to help legal aliens navigate the court system.When it was launched in March 2017, the first-in-the-nation initiative was funded by $1 million in private funds, but administered by the state. At the time, the governor’s office said it did not require legislation to establish or an appropriation in the state budget, according to Albany’s Times-Union. How things have changed.“This federal government is anti-immigrant. I’m an immigrant. We’re all immigrants. New Yorkers believe in immigration and people have rights and should be in position to defend those rights. And that’s what the Liberty Defense Project is all about,” said Cuomo last week when introducing the spending plan.While the governor originally was pushing for a state version of the DREAM Act, the controversial measure was dropped during the negotiations with lawmakers.As wasteful as allocating $5 million for illegals to get legal aid, Cuomo’s approach to combating MS-13 is even more wasteful and dangerous.Just last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 24 alleged MS-13 members in New York amid an ongoing federal effort, which has already notched 475 arrests throughout the state.Even though he described MS-13 as “uniquely violent,” Cuomo’s solution is $16 million toward giving youth “greater access to social programs and alternatives to gang activity,” including expanding afterschool programs in areas with high gang activity.As Cuomo delightedly acts to obstruct the federal government from enforcing immigration laws, he blithely ignores the real threat of MS-13 in favor of more spending on midnight basketball programs.
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