Law enforcement officers will also be prohibited from inquiring about immigration status unless investigating illegal criminal activity, among other protections.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued executive order this week that prohibits state agencies and officers from inquiring about or disclosing an individual's immigration status unless required by law or necessary to determine eligibility for a benefit or service.

Law enforcement officers will also be prohibited from inquiring about immigration status unless investigating illegal criminal activity. This prohibition against inquiring into status includes, but is not limited to, when a person approaches a law enforcement officer seeking help, is the victim of a crime, or is witness to a crime.

Protections put in place earlier this year include include the Liberty Defense Project. The project is the nation's first public-private immigrant legal defense initiative responding to the surge in demand for help that is overwhelming nonprofit organizations serving immigrants, according to the governor’s office. The partnership provides $10 million for legal assistance and representation to immigrants in New York, regardless of their status, through a statewide network of attorneys and advocacy organizations.

For the past five years, the Office for New Americans has helped immigrants fully participate in state civic and economic life through a network of 27 community-based centers around the state. The centers provide English classes, civic education, guidance on how to start /grow a business, and naturalization assistance. ONA also has a hotline, a toll-free, multilingual information center, and a website that guides New Americans to available resources. The hotline is 800-566-7636 (operating 9 a.m-8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or visit