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State officials offer legal assistance to detainees affected by Trump's order

New York State Governor's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is offering his top attorneys to help defend detainees and their families affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants. The assistance comes in the midst of the second day of protests across the nation, including at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

Cuomo offered the aid of the lawyers in his office to provide any assistance needed to detainees and their families caught up in Trump’s order that has left many immigrants and refugees stranded.

In response to confusion over how the order is carried out, or prevented by federal judicial orders, the governor has set up a hotline for families who are trying to locate a relative who might be stranded.

“They have rights to due process, they have equal protection rights,” Cuomo said, “and those rights have to be protected.”

Cuomo did not mention Trump by name.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is also offering assistance to detainees’ attorneys. He, along with attorneys general from 14 other states, condemned the executive order as “unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful.”

Schneiderman said his office will work "to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith."

He applauded decisions by multiple courts to stay the executive order and said he is confident Trump's order "will ultimately be struck down by the courts."

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.