Since President Donald Trump announced his aggressive immigration policies through executive orders – which allow Immigration Customs and Enforcement officials to detain any undocumented immigrant they come across – politicians across the country have stood up in protest.
New York City is a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.
It only cooperates with ICE’s detainer orders for cases in which undocumented
immigrants commit serious felonies and violent crimes. In other words, if an undocumented immigrant is arrested, ICE will be called
only in specific cases and not for minor crimes.
But the NYPD has reportedly been informing ICE when verifying warrants against an individual.
By doing so, ICE is notified of an undocumented immigrant's upcoming court date for a crime they've been charged with.
Immigrant rights group have already accused ICE of purposely
going to courthouses to look for undocumented immigrants to detain. According
to the Daily News, two individuals have been affected by this practice, which
advocates call a “collusion” between the NYPD and ICE.
On March 2, ICE was “notified” by the NYPD about the arrest of David Gonzalez.
The 51-year-old, who re-entered the US after being deported once, was accused of rubbing himself against a woman on a public train. ICE was waiting for him when a judge released him.
Two weeks later, on March 15, the NYPD was “awaiting [a] call from local ICE official” in regards to Milton Chimborazo. The 35-year-old was facing burglary charges and already had a deportation order.
The Daily News reportedly has screenshots showing this activity.
Although the NYPD didn’t cooperate with ICE’s detain orders, immigration officials were still notified of the two undocumented immigrant arrests, who were then taken into custody at courthouses.
Lori Zeno, co-founder and deputy director of Queens Law Associates, told the Daily News:
“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?”
Austin Finan, a mayoral spokeperson, confirmed that the NYPD and ICE communicate on a regular basis but said it wasn’t “collusion.”
NYPD officials also said that ICE can access arrest information on its own and doesn’t need police’s help. But advocates still urge de Blasio to stop this from happening again.
“The mayor can issue a command to the Police Department that they shouldn’t be calling ICE. Cooperating with ICE is one thing … But to me they seem to be in collusion with ICE.”