The State Assembly passed two bills on Monday, as state lawmakers return to pass an unknown number of bills this week.
The Protect Our Courts Act ensures that undcoumented immigrants can participate in the justice system without fear of being deported. It would prohibit immigration related civil arrests against anyone traveling to or from a court proceeding.
“This bill will ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of their immigration status, are able to participate in our justice system without fear of arrest or deportation," Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said.
This bill has not yet passed the state Senate, but was referred to the Rules Committee on Monday.
State Assembly Lawmakers also passed a bill that would expand New York’s rape statutes, reclassifying some lewd and forced actions as rape.
"Rape is a heinous crime that impacts survivors long after the abuse,” Assemblyman Joe Lentol said. “This change in the legal definition will ensure that our courts recognize these crimes for what they are, and will make it easier for survivors to seek the justice they deserve.”
This bill was referred to the Senate Codes committee back in May.