Looking for a grand gesture to both protect possible deportees and thumb its nose at the Trump administration’s draconian measure, New York City rejected over 1,500 calls from federal law enforcement to restrain immigrants.
The total number, 1,526, was 20 times more than the 80 calls received by NYPD in 2016 according to legal affairs manager Oleg Chernyavsky.
Of the petitions to hand over undocumented immigrants in 2016, New York City’s law enforcement complied with two. State law won’t allow the city to turn detainees over to ICE unless the individual has been sentenced for one of 170 severe crimes — AND the feds show up with a warrant.
Speaking to NYC Council, Chernyavsky said, “That says volumes about what we are as a city. It is vital for victims, regardless of their standing, to rely on the police and come forward.”
ICE blasted the city’s law enforcement in a string of tweets.
“The release of criminals back on city streets poses risks to our communities,” said one Tweet.
“ICE will dedicate more resources to conduct arrests to ensure safety of the citizens of the community,” ICE field officer director Thomas Decker said.
Bitta Mostofi, the acting commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, disagrees. “We’re seeing a spike in overzealous enforcement from ICE,” she said. “There has been a 40% increase in immigration arrests of people with no criminal history.”
Chernyavsky told City Council members, “If an individual commits a crime, that person would be arrested, prosecuted and processed by New York authorities for violating the law. Where the detention law comes into effect is the method used to cooperate beyond the crime.”
Brad Lander, Brooklyn’s Councilman, stands by New York City’s cops as they reject ICE’s requests.
“There’s every reason to believe the vast majority of individuals requested by ICE have done nothing serious,” Lander said.
NYPD Commissioner Speaks Out
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill earned social media brownie points for his comments about Trump’s anti-immigrant policy.
O’Neill appreciated the president for celebrating the offspring of an NYPD officer who is following her father’s footsteps — and let Trump know about the NYPD’s diversity.
Trump gave up a little cheering for Brittney Roy, a twenty-two-year-old NYPD cadet saying, “Thanks and congratulations!”
O’Neill responded: “Thanks! Her dad’s a hero. By the way, her 473 fellow cadets come from 43 nations and speak 26 languages.”
The burn got its praise from Twitter.
“POW! Great response Commissioner!” wrote Reverent Marcos Miranda, the New York State Chaplain Task Force President.
O’Neill has a point. Brittney is entering an agency which includes over 900 Muslim cops.