NYC City Council: No More Help for Immigration

The New York City Council has ended co-operation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

By an overwhelming majority, the council passed a bill Thursday ending the Correction Department’s cooperation with federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants.

In passing the bill, council members cited what they saw as various abuses of the system, including detention of people in facilities far from New York and deportation of people who came to the United States with their parents as small children.

Under the current system, the city gives names of people arrested – whether or not they are convicted of any crime and regardless of the severity of that crime – to the federal agency, which then can check whether the person is here legally. If the person is undocumented, ICE can then request that he or she be detained for additional time so ICE can arrange to transfer the immigrant to a federal facility to await deportation proceedings.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said:

“When signed by the mayor, the entire government of New York will send a message the city of New York is supportive of, friendly to and welcoming to immigrants.”

Quinn estimated that some 1,000 to 1,500 people deported in 2010 would not have been detained if the measure passed Thursday had been in effect. More than 50 percent of all prison inmates who are discharged to the ICE have no criminal record, the council bill states; for 20 percent of all the inmates who are discharged to ICE, their highest offense is a misdemeanor.

Better for domestic abuse victims, mistreated workers

The ICE co-operation also erodes the trust between immigrants and law enforcement, bill supporters say.

“What it means on the ground is that immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence are afraid to call the police, immigrants may be afraid to report crimes, immigrants may be afraid to seek services they’re eligible for,” the co-executive director of Make the Road New York Andrew Friedman said.

A recent report found that the program ‘Secure Communities’, from which has withdrawn, leads to wrongful arrests of US citizens, racial profiling and deportations without hearings.

In 2010, 13,295 people born outside the United States spent time in city jails, ICE took custody of 2,522.

The law does single out nine categories of people, including possible terrorists, whose names would still be turned over to ICE. Quinn says that this removes any public safety concerns.

The Obama administration has announced that it would suspend deportation proceedings for undocumented immigrants who pose no threat to national security or public safety.

Previously, Mayor Bloomberg had opposed the bill but is now expected to sign it.The bill has enough sponsors to overturn a veto anyway.

John Feinblatt, the mayor’s chief policy advisor and criminal justice coordinator, raised the specter of terrorism, in a  letter to the New York Times..

“As our country has learned tragically, when government agencies fail to cooperate and share information, not only is public safety compromised, so is national security,” he said.

Now Feinblatt says that the council bill “strikes the right balance.”

Last week Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray signed an executive order instructing police officers and public service officials not to question the immigration status of persons with whom they have contact.

Related stories:

Immigration Officer: “The Warrant is Coming Out of My Balls”

Secure Communities’ Immigration Dragnet Includes US Citizens

GOP Congressman Compares Immigrants to Vagrants, Animals


Photo credit: Say No to Secure Communities Program


K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Immigrant I AM
Immigrant I AM4 years ago


OF COURSE ITS NOT in English Literature!! Haha Psychology son!! I'm also a Health and Fitness Specialist and a Certified Personal Trainer... and by the looks I think I may be able to help you out a bit... just link to me as a "friend" and I might be able to give you some good health and fitness tips... hey you can't be it.. its FREE! Ha

Bernard Cronyn
4 years ago

When discussions on immigrant rights and so on arise I am a little lost for words. I was born in an African country and after leaving school was told that as a non-Black citizen of that country I was denied tertiary education, including on the job training. I reluctantly decided to emigrate in order to acquire professional skills. A process of visa application took place before I left and on arrival in my new country was granted a visitors permit. After another long process of background checks I was granted a “Residents Permit” that allowed me to find employment. Had I not complied with the requirements and taken employment illegally I would have risked being locked up and deported. I was like many, perfectly happy to accept the conditions as laid down by my new host country. Why is it that a vocal and powerful lobby consider that the conditions of entry into a foreign country can be flouted by certain privileged classes or groups of people? Why not just dispense with all laws and enforcement whilst one is about it and say to the world “Everybody welcome to New York for as long as you like – we have plenty of room”!

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

The Obama administration has announced that it would suspend deportation proceedings for undocumented immigrants who pose no threat to national security or public safety.

When you have millions of undocumented immigrants they pose a threat to economic security. We are subsidizing unemployment among citizens to have employed illegal aliens, and citizens have rights to food stamps, unemployment insurance, the whole nine yards. This is bad public policy. If you have to get rid of someone, get rid of someone who doesn't qualify for benefits when unemployed.

Employ citizens first. If we actively cared for our citizens (think Sweden) it would be a no brainer.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

Immigrant I: Let me guess, your degree was not in English literature.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

Head trauma my ***. We can't save the world. We can't employ the world. We can employ our selves. And we had better start trying. This is America and it belongs to us.

Thomas Liddle
Thomas Liddle4 years ago

You people who are so caught up arguing about what is legal and what is not have forgotten about what is right. Conversely you've forgotten to read the article: "council members cited what they saw as various abuses of the system, including detention of people in facilities far from New York and deportation of people who came to the United States with their parents as small children." Put this all in the context of a recent article on other abuses by the ICE, (Culture of Cruelty), and it becomes apparent why the city of New York has taken this stance. The ICE has not been acting legally, therefore NY has severed ties. There are rogue factions in your government. Take a break from dehumanizing these people and smell the coffee. The fair trade coffee. The bill of rights was never intended solely for Americans, and was never to be the source of those rights in and of itself. Most people can suss that out on their own. You fascists who talk about what it means to be an American but don't have the slightest inkling disgust me. The real question is, what happened to your empathy? You know, that can be a symptom of head trauma.

Ernest R.
Ernest R.4 years ago

@Mike C Clinton, despite a year long million dollar investigation was never found to have made unwelcome advances to anyone.That is the repeated criminal part of Cain's past. I really don't expect you to see the difference.

Ernest R.
Ernest R.4 years ago

@ Thom L People whose green card is no longer valid are no longer legal immigrants. On the subject of slavery, I don’t have statistics on percentages, but I can say every country in Africa, every Muslim country {their religion approves of slavery and some take slaves to Mecca to pay their bill for a jihad ], France , for Haiti, the United States, England {for their Caribbean cane plantations ].I should also mention the virtual slavery of “bonded” people, as in Canada or the real slave conditions of Haitians in todays Dominican sugar plantations .Netherlands, for its enslavement of natives in Indonesia to provide cheap spices, Jews whose Torah, like the Koran, supplies instructions about slaves{ not to be from your own group} Sorry I can’t think of other instances at the moment, but there are plenty more which I would look up if you were actually looking for information rather that just being your usual A$$#0Le self.

Mike Chrissie
Mike Chrissie4 years ago

Liberals tend to believe that it is okay for the news media go after HC because of some unproven and unsubstantiated harassment allegations that may or may not have occurred 20 years ago, but it was okay for Clinton to lie about his 12 year affair with Jennifer Flowers. Of course, they would also deny that he was disbarred because of another affair. Now they are trying to make a big deal about a blond. Apparently, that is suppose to upset WHITES. They are using racism to their advantage any way they can, and Cain is in the way. They know he will not get the nomination. It also has the added benefit of distracting everyone from what the Liberals are doing to this country. Hey, it working!