Immigration may be Key Issue in New York Gov Race

Andrew Cuomo, candidate for New York Governor, at the West Indian Day Parade - Photo: Azi Paybarah

Andrew Cuomo, candidate for New York Governor, at the West Indian Day Parade. (Photo: Azi Paybarah/WNYC)

In the race to become New York’s next governor, Republican Carl Paladino is calling his Democratic rival Andrew Cuomo part of Albany’s dysfunction, and Cuomo is framing Paladino as a one-dimensional candidate running on anger alone.

But behind the bickering looms an issue that has the potential to define this year’s race — immigration.

At the state Democratic convention in May, Andrew Cuomo offered this message to New York’s diverse population.

“We are New York. We are the laboratory for the American experiment of democracy. The Statue of Liberty stands in our harbor. We are the welcome mat for the nation. We are founded on the premise that we can say to the people all across this globe: Come here, we invite you.”

Carl Paladino’s talking points are the polar opposite. While meeting with Hispanic ministers in August, he was firm in his opposition to immigration reform.

“We’re not going to allow undocumented aliens, okay, or illegal immigrants to take part in our social welfare and our Medicaid system in the State of New York. Our taxpayers didn’t buy into that.”

El Diario/La Prensa reporter Catalina Jaramillo spoke with WNYC Radio’s Bob Hennelly this morning to talk about the potentially combustible mix of immigration and politics. Listen here:

[audio:hennelly_jaramillo_2way.mp3]

 Feet in Two Worlds New York election coverage is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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