Sunday morning in a statement made at Abysinnian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he is ordering the creation of a special police unit tasked with addressing the rise in hate crime that has occurred since the election.
The unit's job will be to investigate all hate crimes and to "prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law," says Cuomo. The governor also reminded his audience that hate crimes are not just sinful or wrong, they're illegal.
His speech also included a planned proposal for this January that will expand the state's Human Rights Law, which currently prohibits discrimination in education, employment, housing and other essential types of social access. This expansion will specifically ensure that the law also protects children in all schools, public and private.
In the face of immigration policies that could result in deportation of the country's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, Cuomo made it clear that he will do all that he can to protect those individuals who are living in New York state.
"We will be putting together a public-private legal defense fund to provide immigrants who can’t afford their own defense, the legal assistance they need," he said of his plans for protection.
Several other major U.S. city and state officials have made it clear that they are working to uphold their laws that help them protect their immigrant citizens. Mayors in San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, Oreg. and Seattle have already made pledges to retain their status as "sanctuary cities," a designation for cities with policies that instruct local or state government officials to not alert the federal government of citizens with illegal alien status within their communities.
Cuomo also calls on his citizens to lead the way for positive growth and to take a stand against hate, citing New York as the progressive capital of the country.
You can watch the entire speech here: