New York Mayor Eric Adams

NYC Mayor in Favor of Rolling Back Sanctuary Laws: “We Should Be Communicating With ICE”

(The Epoch Times)—New York Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday came out in support of doing away with policies that block cooperation with the federal immigration enforcers when an immigrant has been accused of a crime—a key component of the city’s self-imposed “sanctuary” status.

One of the policies in question was a law enacted in 2014 during the tenure of Mr. Adams’ predecessor, Bill de Blasio. As part of the commitment to make sure no city resources will be used to help the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with deportation, the law shut down the ICE offices that had operated across city facilities and orders the city’s police and correction departments to not honor any detainer requests from ICE that’s not specifically accompanied by a warrant signed by a federal judge.

A detainer request is a notification to local law enforcement to hold a certain person for the purpose of future deportation. Under the 2014 law, New York City agencies will ignore such requests, unless they involve individuals who are on federal terrorist watch list or have been convicted of a serious or violent crime.

Another de Blasio-era policy, issued in 2018 in the form of citywide guidance, goes further by demanding that any requests for help from federal immigration officers must be first reviewed by “senior city agency officials” to determine that they were not made to assist with deportation.

Speaking at his weekly press briefing, Mr. Adams complained about the current version of “sanctuary city” laws as being so lax that they become problematic amid rising concerns over crimes involving illegal immigrants.

“We should be communicating with ICE. And if ICE makes the determination of deporting, then they should,” he said.

The Democrat mayor also indicated that he prefers standards from the era of Michael Bloomberg and before.

“I want to go back to the standards of the previous mayors [whom] I believe subscribed to my belief that people who are suspected of committing serious crimes in this city should be held accountable,” he told reporters.

New York City’s “sanctuary” policy dates back to the mayoralty of Ed Koch, whose executive order in 1989 mandates that no city employee should share information about illegal immigrants with ICE without the immigrant’s written permission or unless the immigrant was suspected—not convicted—of committing a crime.

That order was reissued by succeeding mayors, including Rudy Guiliani, who now advocates a tougher stance on handling those who entered the United States illegally.

At Tuesday’s briefing, Mr. Adams also pointed to a recent bust of a phone robbery ring in the Bronx. The criminal group allegedly consisted of migrants and was run by a Venezuelan national, whom the mayor said could have already been removed from the country if his previous criminal history was shared with the feds.

“This person was a menace,” Mr. Adams said of the alleged robbery ring leader. “You want to leave him here, have him have two years before he’s actually convicted and continuing to do his criminal behavior? I just philosophically disagree with that.”

“The mere fact we cannot share with ICE that this person has committed three robberies, that this person is part of an organized gang crew, [the] mere fact that we can’t say that, and can’t communicate with that, is problematic for me,” he added.

The mayor’s newly found push for changes, which almost certainly will anger the progressives in the city council, won him rare cheers from conservative voices on social media.

“Wow! Mayor Adams is asking for a change in New York City’s sanctuary city law. Good for him,” Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA wrote on X. “Now he needs to go all the way and move to abolish it.”