The New York City Council acted to solidify its commitment to immigrants by passing legislation Tuesday that would help protect them from deportation by codifying the city’s de facto policy of non-cooperation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law.
The move comes in direct opposition to the Trump administration’s attempts to strip so-called “sanctuary cities” of federal funding if they continue to defend immigrants.
“This bill will cement New York City’s status as a place that welcomes immigrants by embedding the city’s sanctuary policies into law,” New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. “City employees should not be fueling the Trump regime’s deportation machine.”
As part of a legislative package, one bill explicitly prohibits city resources from being used to enforce civil immigration laws and any law that penalizes an immigrant’s presence, entry, or re-entry into the country. It also enhances transparency by requiring detailed reporting of how the city deals with requests for immigration enforcement assistance.
“The City Council has been proud to lead the way in greatly restricting ICE activity in New York City through the removal of ICE officials from [Department of Correction] facilities and the judicial warrant requirement for deportation requests,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement.
She added that the bill extended such protections to the Department of Probation, so that “those caught up in the criminal justice system will have one less reason to worry that a minor offense may cost them their place in the United States.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a deadline of Oct. 27 earlier this month to four cities, including New York City, alleging that certain federal statutes compel cities to help the Department of Justice to deport immigrants, according to NBC News.
As direct neighbors, it’s time that Long Island adopt similar policies to protect our most vulnerable population. It’s time to stop pretending that Long Island and New York City are worlds apart; just like any thriving metropolitan area, we are built on the backs of immigrants.
They must be protected from the agenda of mass deportation that will only serve to erode the foundation that continues to make Long Island strong and whole.