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New York City Council Votes to Stop Cooperation with ICE

The New York City Council voted 41 to 6 in favor of ending cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over immigration detainers. ICE issues notices, known as immigration detainers, to local law enforcement agencies to request that they continue to hold an individual who is suspected of being an undocumented immigrant, after the individual would have otherwise been released. Immigration detainers do not requre a judge's warrant and civil rights activists have long decried that this amounted to warrantless arrests that violated the constitution. Immigrant rights activists also criticized this policy because it unfairly targeted immigrants and eroded trust between the immigrant community and local law enforcement. Mayor Bill DeBlasio support the Council's decision and according to the New York Observer,

"the city will honor immigration waivers if the federal government requests them with a judge’s warrant — and even then, only if the subject of the warrant was convicted within the last five years of a violent or serious crime, or is a possible match on the terrorism watch list"

 

Supporters of the bill claim that ending cooperation with ICE's immigration detainers will improve the relationship between law enforcement and the immigrant community. While other counties and cities around the country have refused to honor ICE's immigration detainers, however, being the largest city in country, New York has an incredible influence on other municipalities. This latest move by the New York City Council reaffirms New York's status as a welcoming city for immigrants. We hope that Cleveland and cities around the country follow New York's lead.

Sources:

Council Passes Bills to Stop Cooperation With Federal Immigration Detainers. Jillian Jorgenson. The New York Observer. http://observer.com/2014/10/council-passes-bills-to-stop-cooperation-with-federal-immigration-detainers/#ixzz3Gzd4WGHJ

ICE Detainers: Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.ice.gov/factsheets/detainer-faq.

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