Society

NYPD Informing ICE When Immigrants Are In Court

| by Jordan Smith

Reports indicate that the NYPD is defying New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's sanctuary city policy by informing Immigration and Customs Enforcement when undocumented immigrants appear in court.

New York currently only complies with ICE detainers if an individual has committed a violent crime or other serious felony, the New York Daily News reported.

Detainers are requests from ICE for defendants to be detained so that ICE officers can remove them for deportation.

An official confirmed that the NYPD communicates with law enforcement agencies, including ICE, about upcoming court appearances by undocumented immigrants.

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"I think it really is outrageous," Lori Zeno, co-founder of the Queens Law Association, told the Daily News. "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?"

Two recent instances have been cited. An NYPD agent notified ICE March 2 about the arrest of David Gonzalez, who was previously deported. He was accused of a misdemeanor for allegedly rubbing against a woman on the subway.

"NYPD notifies and confirms with all inquiring and arresting agencies the status of an arrestee who may be the subject of a warrant," mayoral spokesman Austin Finan said.

The second incident occurred March 15, when the same NYPD administrator noted in the central booking system that they were awaiting a call from ICE about 35-year-old Milton Chimborazo, who was accused of burglary and has not been seen by his roommate since his court appearance.

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Advocates are urging the city to take action.

"The mayor can issue a command to the police department that they shouldn't be calling ICE," Zeno added. "Cooperating with ICE is one thing. But to me they seem to be in collusion with ICE."

ICE arrested Gonzalez after he was released by a judge and is waiting to deport him.

"We recognize that the court is designed to be a neutral venue," Finan added.

The controversy emerged following Attorney General Jeff Sessions' March 27 threat to cut off funding for sanctuary cities if they fail to comply with federal policy.

New York hosted a gathering of representatives from around 30 sanctuary cities from across the country March 28.

"The message is that we cannot hide, even when we are under attack," Melissa Mark-Viverito, a New York councilor and the first Latina to hold the position of speaker, told NBC News.

The aim of the event was to jointly plan how to resist the Trump administration's immigration policies.

"This is the first step in trying to formalize a coalition, remain in contact with other sanctuary cities to share resources, replicate models and get other cities to express interest. We want to continue the growth. That's my vision," added Mark-Viverito.

Sources: New York Daily News, NBC News / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Ludovic Bertron

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