New York set aside $10 million for the legal defense of immigrants targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement just days after ICE announced the arrest of hundreds of people in the state.
The Liberty Defense Project will ensure legal rights are being represented, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. It was launched last year, but it needs the additional funds in light of what state officials described as “overly aggressive tactics” from ICE.
“ICE’s hyper-aggressive raids on hardworking New Yorkers are immoral and un-New York, and we stand more determined than ever to support the rights of all immigrants in the Empire State through our nation-leading legal defense funds,” Cuomo said. “Just as Lady Liberty holds her torch high in our harbor, New York will always stand for freedom and tolerance, and while the federal government tries to tear families apart and betray our core values, we will never back down from fighting for the most vulnerable among us.”
About 20 percent of the 225 people ICE arrested during Operation Keep Safe in New York had no criminal record or charges pending against them.
PIX11 has reached out to ICE for comment.