In New York’s broadest response yet to President Donald Trump’s early weeks in office, Democrats who dominate the state Assembly passed a bill Monday that would make New York a “sanctuary state,” and members are poised to again pass legislation that would open tuition assistance programs to undocumented students.
The bills were part of a slate of legislation, which passed the chamber over GOP objections, that face an uncertain-at-best fate in the state Senate, which is controlled by Republicans in coalition with the Independent Democratic Conference.
The move comes as the Republican president has moved to limit federal funds to sanctuary cities and threatened to defund California as a whole, as it heads towards becoming a sanctuary state. Sanctuary jurisdictions put barriers between local officials and federal authorities who may seek to deport undocumented immigrants.
“It is our job to respond to his call to build border walls with a wall of our own, one that protects diversity and acceptance that have always been at the core of our state,” Assemblyman Francisco Moya, a Democrat from Queens, said a press conference announcing the measure. “Not only is it a moral imperative to shelter every race or religion from bigotry, it is our obligation to protect the function of our local law enforcement and agencies.”