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New York could become a ‘sanctuary state’

A bill in the state Legislature would let immigrants in the country illegally avoid detainment by federal authorities in most cases, making New York a so-called sanctuary state.

The legislation has been considered at the state Capitol for several years in various iterations, but has gained new prominence amid the federal debate over immigration and Democrats taking control of state government this year.

While several upstate cities have deemed themselves sanctuary cities because they limit enforcement of immigration laws, the bill sponsored by Sen. Jose Serrano, D-Queens, would extend the same protections statewide.

The bill introduced Thursday would prohibit New York authorities from detaining immigrants in the country illegally based on the efforts by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

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