NEW YORK – New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo welcomed the New Year with a firey inaugural address at Ellis Island Tuesday.
“This federal government has sought to demonize our differences and make our diversity our greatest weakness rather than our greatest strength,” Cuomo said.
On Monday, Cuomo pardoned 22 immigrants at risk of deportation and commuted the sentences of seven people currently incarcerated. The Governor directly took jabs at President Trump in his 26-minute address.
“And New York will move forward and not by building a wall, my friends, but by building new bridges and building new airports,” Cuomo said.
The Governor spoke of fear and anger as a “cancer” that divides the nation and vowed to present the most progressive agenda New York has ever seen to a Democratic legislature, saying that until now felt he was fighting with one arm tied behind his back.
“There is no other nation that can threaten us Americans. The only threat is from within. It is the growing division among us,” Cuomo said.
Prior to his swearing in, a five-minute video played, reiterating a national motto adopted in 1776.
“Summed up in just three words, e pluburis unum, out of many, one,” he said.
The night was also a bittersweet reminder of his father, the late Mario Cuomo, who died exactly four years ago after hearing his son sworn in for a second term.
Also taking the oath to serve office were Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state’s newly elected Attorney General Letitia James.