Just hours before the recent terrorist attack took place in New York City, attacks that killed six, the New York City Council made a decision that was not only against President Trump’s election mandate but, as shown by this recent attack, against the interests of all Americans.
The city’s Committee on Immigration unanimously approved a bill that would prevent the NYPD from working with federal agents to track down illegal immigrants in the city. This same bill would also stop the use of city property and information obtained by municipal authorities from being used to help the “furtherance of federal immigration enforcement,” according to The Daily Caller.
This move from the New York City Council Monday takes another step towards stopping federal agents from cooperating with the city’s resources, promising to reignite further conflict with the Department of Justice over law enforcement grants.
“The city already cooperates with ICE on its own terms through [current] laws,” said city council member Rafael Espinal, a bill co-sponsor. “Any broader or formal arrangement would erode public trust in law enforcement and city agencies. It would also waste local taxpayer dollars.”
A 2014 law already prevents local law enforcement from accepting immigration detention requests from federal agents unless the criminal already has a felony conviction within the last five years along with a judicial arrest warrant. If passed, this bill would only further hinder any cooperative efforts between the two law enforcement bodies.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has warned New York repeatedly that its sanctuary city policies could put it at risk of losing law enforcement grants from the Federal government. The Department of Justice issued an ultimatum to four sanctuary cities — Philadelphia, New Orleans, Cook County (Chicago and its suburbs) as well as New York — which they said were found to be in violation of 8 USC 1373. The federal statute prevents local jurisdictions from limiting communications to federal authorities concerning a resident’s immigration status, something that New York City stands accused of doing.
“Jurisdictions that adopt so-called ‘sanctuary policies’ also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law,” said Sessions in an official statement.
The Attorney General gave the city until Oct. 27th to provide “additional evidence” that they were not operating in violation of the statute. Instead, New York responded by saying the DOJ was misinterpreting federal law and city policy.
Mayors of other sanctuary cities have pushed back against Sessions’ efforts. Bill de Blasio of New York and Rahm Emanuel of Chicago have both initiated lawsuits aimed at stopping the DOJ from withholding these grants.
These decisions to stand in defiance to the President’s intent to safeguard the nation is one that has already proved deadly. With the recent terrorist attack in New York City being conducted by an immigrant and ISIS fanatic who entered the country on a lottery visa, conversation on immigration policy has been reignited.
New York’s City Council just passed a law that would shield illegal immigrants. Is New York out of line?
“We are fighting hard for Merit-Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter),” tweeted President Trump, criticizing the bill which was introduced by another New York representative, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
As the city continues to reel from the recent tragedy, time will tell whether or not the committee on immigration will rethink its controversial decision.