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.
Photos of Cynthia Nixon
“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.”