Photo Courtesy of TOT Private Consulting
According to the administration, the guidance clarifies the City’s policy that it will not voluntarily cooperate with federal immigration enforcement activities, and will only coordinate in limited circumstances, including where there is a public safety risk.
By Forum Staff
The de Blasio administration recently announced the issuance of citywide guidance and new Police Department protocols to clarify the City’s policy that it will not voluntarily cooperate with federal immigration enforcement activities, and will only coordinate in limited circumstances, including where there is a public safety risk.
“We have been very clear that that our police officers and employees will not be a part of a federal deportation force,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This new guidance reinforces that clear line. The City is committed to ensuring that immigrant New Yorkers have confidence in interacting with their local government in order to protect and promote public safety for all.”
Additionally, the guidance prohibits City agencies from entering into formal or informal arrangements in which employees are placed under the direction or supervision of federal immigration officials, such as 287(g) agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“The NYPD’s job is to fight crime and keep New Yorkers safe,” said Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill. “This codifies existing procedure to ensure the NYPD is doing just that. The NYPD does not conduct civil immigration enforcement. The NYPD does not seek individual’s immigration status. Our work can only be done if every New Yorker has trust in the police and is willing to work with us in our collective efforts to ensure the safety of every neighborhood and every block of this great city.”
According to the administration, the new citywide guidance and the new NYPD protocols, issued pursuant to Local Law 228 of 2017, ensure that the City’s policy is institutionalized across the municipal government. In addition, the new guidance and protocols will ensure that any federal immigration officials’ requests for assistance will be reviewed in advance by senior City agency officials and assessed based on City policies such as the need to protect public safety, not for purposes of providing assistance with deportation.
“The NYPD should always be focused on ensuring the safety of all New Yorkers, while keeping a clear line between any deportation efforts within the five boroughs,” said City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), chairman of the Committee on Public Safety. “The day we start helping ICE is the day we lose the public trust, which is why this guidance and protocol is so critical. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, Speaker [Corey] Johnson and Police Commissioner O’Neill for their commitment to maintaining New York City as a sanctuary city.”
According to the guidance, City agencies, including the NYPD, will continue to cooperate with federal law enforcement agencies in certain circumstances, including as part of inter-governmental criminal task forces focusing on topics such as gangs, human trafficking, and terrorism, and by sharing information about individuals in the City’s criminal custody who have been convicted of one of approximately 170 qualifying violent or serious felonies under the City’s existing laws on immigration detainer requests.
“This guidance document affirms that New York has and will protect its immigrants against being rapaciously targeted by federal enforcement to the fullest extent possible,” said Steve Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.