Cuomo keeps Statue of Liberty open amid shutdown

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo negotiated a deal with Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke which would allow the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island to remain open during the federal government shutdown.

Cuomo agreed that the state of New York will pay National Park Service workers and operations costs for both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, a cost of $65,000 per day, the New York City Patch reported.

“The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom and opportunity for all, and it is a gross injustice that this administration’s dysfunction caused it to shut down,” Cuomo said in a statement. “When this administration tries to deport immigrants, when they close down the Statue of Liberty, they are attacking who we are.”

New York Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Republican, lauded the move, declaring that the Statue of Liberty is an “international symbol and a beacon of hope,” and one of New York’s premiere tourist attractions.

“Democrats and Republicans here in New York agree that it should stay open and continue to welcome tourists and others regardless of any political differences that may exist at the federal level,” Flanagan said.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie encouraged people to stand up to President Donald Trump’s “hateful policies” during the federal government shutdown.

“Lady Liberty shines as a beacon of hope and opportunity to people around the world and is a symbol of our enduring democracy,” Heastie said.

According to the National Park Service, 4.5 million people visited Liberty Island in 2016. The site generates more than $263 million annually from visitor spending.

During the 2013 shutdown of the federal government, Cuomo reached a similar deal to allow the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to remain open.

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