Originally published by NY Daily News
The NYPD got a whopping 1,526 requests from the feds to detain immigrants in President Trump’s first year in office — and rejected them all, officials said Wednesday.
The number of detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement was nearly 20 times higher than the 80 requests received in 2016, NYPD legislative affairs director Oleg Chernyavsky told the City Council.
In 2016, cops complied with two of the 80 requests to turn over undocumented immigrants who got arrested to the feds for deportation.
New York law says the city can’t hand prisoners over to ICE unless they’ve been convicted of one of 170 serious crimes, and the feds present a warrant.
“That speaks volumes to our intent as a city,” Chernyavsky said. “It’s important for victims of crimes, irrespective of their immigration status, to trust their police and to come forward and inform their police.”
As police brass discussed the stats, ICE slammed the department in a series of tweets.
ICE recently arrested nine people in New York who were in the country illegally and released by the NYPD despite active detainers and pending criminal charges, the agency wrote. They did not specify what crimes the immigrants were charged with.
“The release of criminal aliens back on New York City streets continues to pose a dangerous risk to our communities,” said ICE field office director Thomas Decker. “ICE will continue to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests to ensure the safety of the law-abiding citizens of these communities.”
But Bitta Mostofi, acting commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, said the spike in detainers is part of an indiscriminate deportation dragnet.
“We’re seeing a tremendous spike in overbroad enforcement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” she said, adding there has also been a 40% spike in immigration arrests of people with no criminal history.
“The people they’re seeking are essentially anybody, regardless of the nature of the crime.”
Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Queens) worried the city’s strict sanctuary rules may be preventing it from turning over people guilty of violent crimes.
“It’s my hope that our hands aren’t tied in a situation when you do have a violent offender, whatever their status may be, if they need to be arrested,” he said. “For me, it’s about safety.”
Chernyavsky said if an immigrant is busted for a violent crime, they’ll be prosecuted and jailed just like anyone else.
“If an individual currently committed a crime, that individual would be arrested, prosecuted and so on by New York authorities for the violation of law,” he said. “Where the detainer law comes into play is how we’re approaching cooperation beyond the crime at hand.”
Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) said cops were right to unanimously reject the requests.
“There’s every reason to believe from what we know about those detainers that the vast majority of those individuals had done nothing serious,” he said. “Honoring those detainers would have been becoming part of ICE’s deportation machine.”