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Cuomo: 'As A New Yorker, I Am A Muslim'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that President Donald Trump's travel ban was "the exact opposite of what I believe."

Cuomo blasted the order as un-American and pledged to help detainees.

"My lawyers in the Governor's Counsel's office will serve as counsel for any detainee who needs legal assistance," he said.

He also announced the creation of a confidential toll-free hotline through which New Yorkers may report people who are missing or may be detained on flights coming into the state.

"As New Yorkers who live in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, we welcome new immigrants as a source of energy and celebrate them as a source of revitalization for our state," Cuomo said in a statement. "We will ensure New York remains a beacon of hope and opportunity and will work to protect the rights of those seeking refuge in our state."

The New York Department of State hotline can be reached at (888) 769-7243. It will obe running 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will offer translation services.

Cuomo also took action on Saturday for refugees who were detained at New York airports. Cuomo ordered the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Department of State, and his Counsel's office to look into legal options for all refugees held at New York airports and ensure that their rights were protected.

"As a New Yorker I am a Muslim. As a New Yorker, I am Jewish. As a New Yorker, I am black, I am gay, I am disabled, I am a woman seeking to control her health and choices," Cuomo said Sunday, "because as a New Yorker, we are one community – the New York community comprised of all of the above."

President Donald Trump signed an executive action Friday night, ordering imposes a 120-day suspension of the entire U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and a 90-day ban on all entry to the United States from countries with terrorism concerns.

The State Department said the three-month ban in the directive applies to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — all Muslim majority nations.

On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly issued a temporary stay the after lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union filed a court petition on behalf of people who were detained at airports across the as the ban took effect.

The detainment of hundreds of travelers sparked protests across the country Saturday night and into Sunday morning, including protests at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens.

Cuomo on Sunday also announced new initiatives protecting the rights of transportation workers after a Muslim airline employee was attacked at JFK Airport earlier this week.

"Officials say they will propose legislation that would make assault against airport workers a Class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The governor said they will also explore all legal options to protect refugees and immigrants coming to the United States through New York airports following Trump's executive order banning immigration from seven nations.

Cuomo said the new legislation, dubbed the Transportation Worker Protection Act, will apply to all transportation workers across the state.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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