NYC’s Refusal to Cooperate with Feds Blamed by ICE for Release of Migrants Accused of Beating Cop

Left-leaning New York laws, which prohibit collaboration with federal immigration officials, are partially responsible for the inability of ICE to prevent the alleged migrants who assaulted two NYPD officers from fleeing the city, officials expressed on Monday.

Kenneth Genalo, the director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Big Apple field office, strongly criticized the sanctuary policy that prohibits the city from following “detainers.” These detainers require local law enforcement to inform federal authorities when non-citizens are arrested for criminal offenses.

“We are eager to provide assistance, but unfortunately, the collaboration between the NYPD and ICE is no longer possible due to city policies and state law,” Genalo expressed during a press conference held in the presence of a bipartisan group of local politicians.

“We are witnessing a significant number of arrests in the city each week, with a multitude of individuals being taken into custody. However, the challenge lies in identifying the most violent offenders among them.”

Genalo expressed his views while local lawmakers, spearheaded by US Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island), called upon Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council to reconsider existing laws and policies, enabling the smooth deportation of migrants accused of crimes.

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Their appeal stems from the recent incident where six migrants were charged for assaulting two NYPD officers near Times Square on January 27th. Last week, five of them faced charges of assault and obstructing governmental administration but were released without bail. It is alleged that at least four of them subsequently fled the city.

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According to Genalo, the existing laws that restrict the NYPD’s collaboration with federal authorities, including their adherence to the detainer system, resulted in immigration officials like himself only learning about the recent incident through the media.

An ICE official expressed regret that much of their intelligence gathering at ICE relies on information obtained through the media instead of direct communication with law enforcement agencies like the NYPD.

In 2014, then-Mayor Bill de Blasio enacted a law that prohibited the NYPD from collaborating with federal immigration authorities in their efforts to remove dangerous migrants from the United States.

In 2018, he went even further by issuing citywide guidance and new NYPD protocols to officially establish New York City’s policy of not cooperating with federal immigration enforcement activities.

According to Genalo, there used to be a unit at Riker’s Island that collaborated with the NYPD. However, the previous administration decided to remove the unit from the facility, which means they no longer have a presence there.

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My staff and I thoroughly screened individuals who were born outside of the country to assess their eligibility for removal proceedings. If they were found to be eligible, we would take custody of them and initiate the necessary legal actions.

Due to local laws, law enforcement officials are no longer obligated to honor the detainers system. This, combined with New York City’s bail reform legislation, has created a situation where immigration officials often have to spend valuable time tracking down arrested asylum-seekers in order to determine if they should be deported.

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“When they are released back into the community, we are then tasked with finding them,” he explained, referring to the migrants who were let go without bail after the Times Square cop-beatdown incident.

He expressed his concern about the challenges they face in taking custody of these individuals. Instead of being able to do so in the controlled environment of a jail or precinct, they now have to venture into the community and the streets where, unfortunately, the criminals often have the advantage.

Malliotakis also criticized the city for failing to honor ICE’s detainer requests.

According to the congresswoman, during the latest fiscal year, ICE issued 109 detainer requests for individuals who have committed crimes in New York City and are considered dangerous. However, the city did not honor any of these requests. Similarly, in the previous fiscal year, ICE issued 157 detainer requests, all of which were also ignored by the City of New York.

During the Biden administration, there has been a significant decrease in the number of detainer requests. In the fiscal year ’21, at the end of the Trump administration, there were 1485 detainer requests, none of which were honored by the City of New York.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has urged for the apprehension and deportation of the migrants accused of assaulting police officers.

Mayor Eric Adams, on the other hand, emphasized on Monday that he was limited in his actions due to the existing legislation.

During an unrelated press conference, the Mayor emphasized that he is unable to utilize city resources due to the current law. He stated that the decision on how to proceed with this matter should be presented to the council.

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The bill was approved by the city council. As the mayor, I understand my responsibilities and I openly express my viewpoints to my team. I have the authority to either veto or support bills based on my beliefs. However, it is important to note that this particular bill was passed by the city council itself.

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