Cuomo’s Campaign Promises to Latinos

Andrew Cuomo surrounded by Hispanic leaders - Photo: Catalina Jaramillo

Andrew Cuomo surrounded by Hispanic leaders. (Photo: Catalina Jaramillo)

In a meeting with El Diario/La Prensa’s editorial board last week, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said if he is elected governor he would review the controversial finger-print sharing program Secure Communities.

Last May the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that gives the green light for any county in New York State to start implementing the program.

Cuomo, the Democratic candidate for governor, blamed the program on the lack of “intelligent” federal action on immigration.  Although he said he was going to review it,  he also said the Attorney General’s office isn’t currently studying the MOA.

“The attorney general’s office wasn’t involved with DCJS, I don’t know… DCJS… They could have consulted with us. They didn’t.  And I understand the position that they took, but it’s a policy that we are going to review if I’m lucky enough to be elected governor.”

The Attorney General added that local or state authorities should not “step into the shoes” of the federal government.

In the one-hour-long meeting, Cuomo told El Diario’s editorial board he doubted there’s been another elected official who has done as much for Latinos as he has. As examples, he mentioned his work against discrimination in housing, lending and jobs.

“If I come to this table in four years and I can’t say to you that we have the most diverse workforce in the history of the state of New York and that we have more Latinos in state employment that ever before, I will have failed in a very important priority for me,” Cuomo said to the editorial board.

Later in the week, El Diario gave Cuomo its endorsement.

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

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AboutCatalina Jaramillo
Catalina Jaramillo is an independent reporter and radio producer living in Philadelphia. For most of her career, she has worked toward social justice, writing about inequality and building real and virtual spaces for people to communicate. She is a freelance correspondent for the Chilean newspaper La Tercera and Qué Pasa magazine, and has filed stories for Al Dia, WHYY, FSRN, El Universal Domingo, VICE México and more. Catalina produced The Time is Now, a Fi2W climate change workshop for immigrant and ethnic media and is part of the Unidos team. She’s also an adjunct assistant professor for the new Spanish concentration at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Follow her @cjaramillo.