Cuomo Credit: Getty Images

Elected officials and community leaders on Thursday applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to end New York’s involvement in the federal Secure Communities program, which seeks to identify criminals and deport them if they’re in the country illegally.

“Because of this important decision, witnesses of crimes will have no reason to hesitate about whether to go to law enforcement,” said state Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx)

Pro-immigration groups had slammed the program, which began in 2008, for seemingly going after low-level criminals.

New York is the second state behind Illinois to terminate its participation.

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