The NYPD won’t cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents seeking to repatriate illegal immigrants, Mayor Bill de Blasio told RTVi, or Russian Television International.
“The NYPD will not participate as immigration enforcement agents because we have, for decades, built a close working relationship with immigrant communities,” de Blasio said. “Our police force is not going to be out there knocking on people’s door and it is not going to share information about people’s documentation status with the federal authorities.”
According to de Blasio, who faces reelection in November, more than half a million people in New York are “undocumented” and a “vast majority don’t commit any crimes whatsoever.”
City officials city and the NYPD officers will cooperate with the feds only in immigration cases which involve “serious and violent crimes,” he said. “In terms of the City of New York, we said the only area where we cooperate is we have a law that delineates 170 serious and violent crimes. If someone is convicted — not just accused, convicted of those crimes — then we will work with ICE in terms of their deportation.”
According to the mayor’s office, ICE has submitted 80 “detainer” requests to the NYPD in 2016. These “detainers” ask local police forces to hold illegals who were arrested for other crimes until they can be transferred to ICE for later repatriation. But only two inmates were transferred to ICE in 2016, and only because federal officials got a warrant or a subpoena from a judge.
New York City is among one of the largest U.S. cities that proudly labels itself as a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens. Roughly 300 cities nationwide try to preserve illegals from deportation, partly because businesses gain from a local population of illegals who serve as cheap employees and as additional consumers.
Since President Donald Trump was inaugurated, de Blasio has vowed to oppose any executive order regarding illegal immigration. He is running for re-election this year, has used this hot topic to raise campaign funds outside New York this weekend in Chicago and Florida.
“We do not believe the President’s executive order related to immigration is legally clear or consistent,” de Blasio said, downplaying the risk that the city would lose federal funds. “We think it can be challenged effectively in court. If you look at it carefully, the only resources that could be held back, even if it were to pass judicial muster, the only resources that could held back would be from the NYPD, especially for anti-terrorism.”
De Blasio added;
I think that puts the President’s administration in a box of their own making. They claim they want to force us to change our ways, and their penalty is going to take away anti-terrorism funding that protects the biggest city in America and the number one terror target, I think that will end up being untenable and unacceptable. But in the first instance, nothing has been done to remove our funding so far, and if there ever were an attempt, we would immediately go to court to stop it.
de Blasio also tried to blame a recent spike in anti-Semitic vandalism on Trump and his advisors. “[Trump] unleashed these forces and some of the people who are closest to these white supremacist movement, and they are very intolerant of any religion that is not Christian,” de Blasio said.
Steve Bannon is an example of a leader of the right-wing that has fostered and supported these kind of movements and certainly given them access to his media platform. If the President wants to draw a clear line, he needs to make explicitly clear that he will not tolerate anti-Semitism, racism, Islamophobia, anti-gay activities. I think it’s necessary to separate from the people, who, unfortunately, like Steve Bannon, have aided and abetted those kind of negative movements and to constantly make clear that he doesn’t want the support of any people like that and he will condemn them.
Read the mayor’s complete statement here. The Russian-language interview is here: