Mayor Eric Adams intensifies push for changes to laws that make New York a sanctuary city

ByAaron Katersky WABC logo
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Mayor Adams considers changes to laws that make NYC a sanctuary city
Lucy Yang has the details.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- After a series of well-publicized crimes allegedly committed by migrants, Mayor Eric Adams appeared to support a modification of laws that make New York a sanctuary city.

Adams said on Tuesday migrants who commit serious crimes should be deported and the city should be able to communicate with federal ICE agents.

"We should not be allowing people who are repeatedly committing crimes to remain here and we cannot collaborate with ICE in the process," the mayor said during a news conference.

It followed comments Monday evening when the mayor said the city needs to modify the sanctuary city law.

"If you commit a felony, a violent act, we should be able to turn you over to ICE and have you deported."

Existing laws prohibit the city to cooperate with the federal immigration authorities if a foreign national has been charged with a crime but not convicted.

The New York City Council has exhibited no interest in modifying the laws, which were strengthened in 2014 during the de Blasio administration, but some Republicans welcomed the mayor's remarks.

"It's a welcome change," City Councilman Joe Borelli said.

Several New Yorkers that Eyewitness News spoke to Tuesday lined also agreed with the mayor.

"Personally, I think the mayor is on the right page," said Diana Taylor.

"I think it's a good thing to revisit," said Isabel Harper. "If you're a violent person and committing crimes against other people and becoming a disruption to how the city works, that needs to be looked into."

The Legal Aid Society expressed alarm.

"What Mayor Eric Adams seeks would result in local law enforcement being able to transfer New Yorkers merely suspected of a crime to ICE, upending local criminal court proceedings while perpetuating family separation and dividing communities," the group said in a statement.

An estimated 150,000 migrants have poured into the city during this border crisis, costing New Yorkers more than $10 billion to care for them.

A spokesperson for the City Council responded to the debate over deportation and whether it might be academic, stating "the council has no plans to revisit the sanctuary city laws."

(ABC News contributed to this report.)

ALSO READ | First on Eyewitness News: Mayor Eric Adams slashes funding to migrants, cancels city budget cuts

NJ Burkett reports.


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