Posted on October 12, 2021

New Law Criminalizes Threats to Undocumented Immigrants

Nick Reisman, Spectrum News, October 11, 2021

A measure criminalizing threats in New York to expose a person’s immigration status was signed into law this weekend by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The new law considers threats to expose undocumented people in the state as extortion or coercion, and is based on similar measures already on the books in California, Colorado, Maryland and Virginia.

It’s already illegal to threaten to expose a person’s immigration status in labor trafficking or sex trafficking cases, but had not been previously considered as extortion or coercion offenses.

“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,” Governor Hochul said. “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.”