Cynthia Nixon vows to make New York a 'sanctuary state'

ALBANY — Cynthia Nixon said Thursday she wants to make New York a “real sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants.

The actress, who is challenging Gov. Cuomo for the Democratic nomination, said so-called sanctuary state legislation was among the measures that needs to be adopted for New York to become the “progressive bastion” she envisions.

While New York City and several other cities have adopted such policies to protect immigrants, Nixon blamed Cuomo for thwarting legislation to do it on a statewide level.

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Cynthia Nixon speaks during the Democratic gubernatorial primary debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York August 29, 2018. J. Conrad Williams Jr./Pool via REUTERS
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29: Cynthia Nixon attends the portrait unveilings of Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon starring on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club's THE LITTLE FOXES, at Sardi's on June 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
Democratic candidate for governor, Cynthia Nixon looks up as she cast her vote in the New York State Democratic primary in New York City, U.S., September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Actress Cynthia Nixon attends the 71st Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Cynthia Nixon (L) attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 4: Cynthia Nixon attends 2017 Drama Desk Awards - Arrivals at Anita's Way on June 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: Cynthia Nixon on stage at the 2017 The Lilly Awards at Playwrights Horizons on May 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: Cynthia Nixon attends the Outer Critics Circle 2016-2017 Awards at Sardi's on May 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: Best Actress in a Play Winner for 'The Little Foxes' Laura Linney and Best Featured Actress in a Play Winner for 'The Little Foxes' Cynthia Nixon pose at the 2017 Outer Critics Circle Awards Presentation at Sardi's on May 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: Cynthia Nixon attends the 2017 Lilly Awards at Playwrights Horizons on May 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 19: Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon attend the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony at Marriott Marquis Times Square on May 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Cynthia Nixon -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney attend the 2017 Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Junket at the Sofitel Hotel on May 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Actor Cynthia Nixon attends 2017 Drama Desk Nominees reception at Marriott Marquis Times Square on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Actress Cynthia Nixon visits the SiriusXM Studios on April 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Christine Marinoni and wife Cynthia Nixon pose at the opening night after party for Manhattan Theatre Clubs production of 'The Little Foxes' on Broadway at The Copacabana on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney during the Broadway Opening Night Curtain Call bows for 'The Little Foxes' at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Cynthia Nixon attends the 2017 Afghan Hands fundraiser at Gabriel & Co Showroom on March 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 28: Cynthia Nixon attends the cast photo call for the Manhattan Theatre Club's New Broadway Production of 'The Little Foxes' at the MTC Rehearsal studios on February 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 17: (L-R) Cynthia Nixon, Mario Cantone and Claudia Shear pose at the Opening Night Party for The New Group production of 'Evening at The Talk House' at Green Fig Urban Eatery at Yotel on February 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - JANUARY19: American actress Cynthia Nixon gives a speech as people gather in front of Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York, USA on January 19, 2017 during a demonstration to protest US President-elect, Republican, Donald Trump ahead of his inauguration which will be held in Washington. Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio,Mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges participate the protest as well as celebrities including Robert De Niro, Marisa Tomei, Sally Field, Alec Baldwin, Mark Ruffalo, Cynthia Nixon, Michael Moore, Cher, Natalie Merchant . (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Cynthia Nixon arrives at the The 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 11, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Actress Cynthia Nixon attends the 'Sweet Charity' Opening Night Afterparty at The Lindeman on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
Democratic candidate for governor, Cynthia Nixon speaks to reporters after voting in the New York State Democratic primary in New York City, U.S., September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Democratic candidate for governor, Cynthia Nixon speaks to reporters after voting in the New York State Democratic primary in New York City, U.S., September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
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“All of these things that we should have done and that New Yorkers want us do, that’s why I am running,” Nixon said. adding that she also wants legislation to create a single-payer health care system, promote renewable energy and boost funding to schools.

“Times up on progressive change and waiting for progressive change in New York,” Nixon said. “We have to make it happen.”

The Assembly last year adopted a “sanctuary state” measure that would have prevented state and local law enforcement officers from making arrests based on immigration status and from enforcing federal immigration laws. The measure died in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Cuomo supporters defended the governor’s record on immigration, including an executive order he signed last year that prohibited state agencies, including the State Police, from asking and reporting on an individual’s immigration status.

“I think we have the most progressive record in the country in this state,” Cuomo said Wednesday.

Republicans slammed both Nixon and Cuomo.

“It’s so radical and a completely wrong policy for New York,” State GOP spokeswoman Jessica Proud said about the sanctuary state legislation. “The governor has already taken a dramatic left turn and seeing them compete for progressive votes is a scary proposition for New Yorkers.”

Nixon, meanwhile, confirmed Thursday that she would also seek the Working Families Party’s nomination at its convention next month but she stopped short of saying she would remain an active candidate on its line should she lose to Cuomo in the Democratic primary.

“I would love to get the Working Families Party endorsement,” she told reporters at a campaign stop in Syracuse. “I think any person who cares about working families and who cares about ending poverty would want that endorsement.”

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