You are reading

Threatening to Report a Person to ICE Will Soon be Illegal Under New State Law

(U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Flickr)

Oct. 15, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A new state law will soon make it illegal to threaten to report someone to ICE as a form of blackmail.

The legislation, which Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law last week, classifies such threats as extortion or coercion under New York law and therefore a crime.

“New York is built on the hard work and determination of generations of immigrants, and we need to support people who are trying to build better lives for themselves and their families,” Hochul said in a statement. “This legislation will protect New Yorkers from bad actors who use extortion or coercion due to their immigration status, and make our state safer against vile threats and intimidation.”

The legislation expands existing state law to include threats to report someone’s immigration status and threats of deportation in the legal definitions of extortion and coercion. Previously, such threats were only crimes in cases of labor trafficking and sex trafficking.

The new law gives the court power to prosecute individuals who use a person’s immigration status as blackmail, even when unrelated to labor or sex trafficking.

“For an undocumented immigrant who fled danger in their home country, being reported to ICE can be a death sentence, yet sadly, far too many people are willing to take advantage of our more vulnerable neighbors by threatening to reveal their immigration status in order to exploit them in some way,” the bill’s sponsor Sen. Anna Kaplan said.

“By enacting this long-overdue measure, we’re updating the laws on extortion and coercion to ensure that immigrant New Yorkers aren’t left vulnerable to such vile threats.”

Similar measures have been enacted in other states such as California, Colorado, Maryland and Virginia.

The legislation, introduced by Kaplan and Assembly Member Michaelle Solages, passed both the Senate and Assembly in June. It passed the Senate by a vote of 48 to 14 in June, and the Assembly by a vote of 106 to 41.

Hochul signed the bill on Oct. 9. The new law goes into effect 30 days after her signing.

“This legislation breaks new ground in New York’s ongoing efforts to protect undocumented immigrants, who can be some of our state’s most vulnerable residents,” Solages said in a statement. “Arbitrary threats of deportation are extremely harmful to New Yorkers trying to feed their families and give their children a better life, and we stand with them, today and always.”

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Brooklyn man charged with manslaughter, DWI, for Astoria collision that killed his wife: DA

New details have emerged in the case against a Brooklyn man who allegedly crashed into several cars in Astoria last week while driving drunk, and then drove off in the wrecked vehicle to a residential block in Maspeth four miles away with a gravely injured passenger. The passenger turned out to be his wife, who later died, and the boozed driver told investigators that the couple was being followed when the collision occurred, according to the criminal complaint.

Rey Perez, 27, of Caton Avenue in Flatbush, was arraigned on Friday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other crimes for speeding through stop signs last Thursday morning, crashing into another vehicle and two parked cars, before speeding from the scene to Maspeth where he sought help for his wife, 29-year-old Bridget Enriquez, who later succumbed to her injuries.

Woman sought for slashing cabbie during a robbery near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

Police are searching for a woman who attacked a cab driver in East Elmhurst during a robbery more than two weeks ago.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 11 after the cabbie picked up the suspect in Manhattan. The driver told investigators that the woman initially wanted to be taken to LaGuardia Airport but instead decided to be dropped off  nearby in front of 89-00 23rd Ave. at around 2 a.m.