A day after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he was suspending New York State's participation in a controversial federal immigration program Secure Communities, Suffolk County Police's spokesperson said the program would remain in effect there.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, who has often taken action against undocumented immigrants, said it was inappropriate for New York State "to tell the federal government it will fight them in their efforts to keep our nation safe."
"This is a horrendous setback for anyone interested in enforcing our immigration laws," Levy said. "It is special interest politics taking precedence over our homeland's security."
The governor said on Wednesday that the Secure Communities program has failed to meet its goal to "deport serious felons" and has had a negative impact on "on families, immigrant communities and law enforcement."
His decision meant that the program would immediately be deactivated in the 31 counties it has come into force, including Suffolk.
It remained unclear, though, whether that would be possible. According to ICE's previous statements, the Secure Communities will be activated in all jurisdictions by 2013, and there would be no opting out for those counties that became a part of the program.