NYC To Pull Back on Cooperation with Federal Immigrant Detention and Deportation

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11/09/2011 10:31 AM |

An immigrant detention center in Texas

  • An immigrant detention center in Texas

Earlier this year, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer penned an impassioned Op-Ed, run in this publication and elsewhere, decrying New York City’s cooperation with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): it has long been city policy to turn over to ICE the names of everyone arrested in the city; the ICE requests the names of detainees it would like to see transferred to one of several immigrant detention center hellholes, and we ship ’em off.

Now, the Gotham Gazette takes note, the City Council last week passed a bill to restrict NYC’s cooperation with our shamefully Kafkaesque federal immigration system.

The bill, a pet project of Speaker Christine Quinn, passed with only four votes against; Mayor Bloomberg, who initially opposed it, announced his support this fall.

The bill, the Times explained at the time, “would prevent corrections officials from transferring inmates to federal custody, even immigrants in the United States illegally, if prosecutors declined to press charges against them, and if they had no convictions or outstanding warrants, had not previously been ordered deported and did not show up on the terrorist watch list.” It’s also a policy victory for which both Quinn and Stringer can take credit when they run for mayor in two years.