Despite a law signed in 2014 which drastically undermined New York City’s cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, it is being reported that the New York Police Department (NYPD) is alerting federal agents of the criminal court appearances of illegal aliens who face deportation.
Major Bill de Blasio has been extremely supportive of the 2014 law, which held that the well-known sanctuary city would only comply with ICE’s orders to hold criminal alien defendants for federal agents if those defendants had committed violent or serious crimes.
However, screenshots of the Central Booking system obtained by The Daily News show the NYPD does, indeed, notify ICE as part of its process of authenticating warrants against defendants, which serves to alert the agency of an illegal alien’s pending court appearance.
Opponents believe this action is in contrast to de Blasio’s pledge that the city will remain a sanctuary to illegals, calling the practice “collusion” between the NYPD and ICE.
Lori Zeno, co-founder and deputy director of Queens Law Associates, declared, “I think it really is outrageous. We’re supposed to be a sanctuary city. What does it mean if our own court system is participating in turning folks in to ICE?”
In two March cases involving criminal aliens facing nonviolent charges, an NYPD agent reported in the Central Booking system that he had “notified ICE” regarding the arrests. In both instances, however, the NYPD was not following what amounts to ICE’s detainer orders, but simply notifying law enforcement of the warrants.
“NYPD notifies and confirms with all inquiring and arresting agencies the status of an arrestee who may be the subject of a warrant,” said mayoral spokesman Austin Finan, who did not dispute communication between the NYPD and ICE, but said it does not mean the department is honoring ICE detainers.
The top NYPD spokesman, Stephen Davis supported the NYPD’s practice, stating, “Nothing was compromised in terms of the policies or the department. These guys didn’t suffer any consequence.”
NYPD officials also confirmed ICE has its own access to arrest information.
Sanctuary advocates like Zeno are calling for de Blasio to step in:
“The mayor can issue a command to the Police Department that they shouldn’t be calling ICE,” Zeno stated. “Cooperating with ICE is one thing … but, to me, they seem to be in collusion with ICE.”
ICE has not returned a request for comment.
H/T: Daily News
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