N.Y. legislation will add deportation threats to coercion law

By Denis Slattery | New York Daily News

ALBANY —New York lawmakers want to make it a crime to threaten someone’s immigration status.

A measure slated to pass the Assembly this week would guard immigrants against the threat of deportation from employers, landlords or abusive partners who attempt to coerce or extort them.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages (D-Nassau County), would add deportation proceedings to a list of blackmail threats criminalized by law.

“The threat of deportation is very serious to undocumented immigrants, which makes them particularly vulnerable to extortion or coercion,” Solages said. “Too often, that vulnerability is exploited by unscrupulous actors. This legislation would protect these individuals and their families from having their immigration status used as leverage against them.”

Officials in the city already stepped up fines and guidelines that bar threatening to call immigration authorities on others back in 2019 in response to increased arrests and the Trump administration’s encouraging Americans to report undocumented workers to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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