Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office has joined the New York State District Attorney’s League of Immigrant Affairs in issuing a statement that reaffirms that the District Attorney’s Office will not tolerate acts of violence that target people because of their nationality, immigration status, race, sexual orientation or gender. The statement states that, “If you or someone you know is the victim of a hate crime or immigrant fraud crime, do not be afraid to come forward.” The public is urged to call 911 if they are in danger or need immediate assistance, and the statement reminds everyone, including immigrants, that the District Attorney’s Office is there to protect their rights.
In August, 2016, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler launched an initiative, designed to assist Orange County’s immigrants in dealing with the criminal justice system. As part of the initiative, the District Attorney’s Office joined the New York State District Attorneys’ League of Immigrant Affairs (DALIA), an organization that comprises five other New York State district attorney’s offices, those in the New York City boroughs of Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as Nassau County. In this most recent joint statement, Orange County joined those district attorney offices in reminding immigrants who have been the victims of crimes that, “Our offices treat a victim’s immigration status with complete confidentiality. Our goal is to assist all New Yorkers and support them when they seek justice. We want to ensure that in our communities, justice is equally available to all.”
Under the Orange County District Attorney’s Office’s Immigrant Affairs initiative, an immigrant who has been the victim of a crime is able to call the Immigrant Affairs Coordinator to report the crime, and the Immigrant Affairs Coordinator, in turn, will ensure that the immigrant’s complaint is routed to the prosecution unit within the District Attorney’s Office that is most appropriate to investigate it. Victimized immigrants may report any type of crime, including violent crimes, human trafficking, domestic violence, and frauds. Immigrants who wish to report being the victim of a crime, or otherwise need assistance in dealing with a criminal case in which they are the victim, or those wishing additional information about the initiative, should contact Robert Conflitti, Counsel to the District Attorney and Immigrant Affairs Coordinator at (845) 615-3640.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will soon be announcing two training sessions on immigrant affairs issues for any interested parties, including law enforcement and service providers.
“It must be well understood that this Office will not tolerate acts of violence, whether they are based on the victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference or identity, or any other constitutionally protected classification, or based on the victim’s political affiliation”, said District Attorney Hoovler. “We will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any act of violence committed based on those factors, or committed for any other reason. As appropriate, we will seek enhanced sentences for those acts under New York’s Hate Crimes statutes. We are a nation of immigrants and all of our residents deserve to be free from being victimized by crime. This statement reaffirms our commitment to ensure that immigrants have full access to the criminal justice system and are not victimized because of their immigration status.”