Mayor Adams, NYC Council Speaker Adams at odds over city's sanctuary laws

ByAaron Katersky WABC logo
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Adams, Council Speaker Adams at odds over city's sanctuary laws
Darla Miles has the latest.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams are at odds over the city's sanctuary laws when it comes to migrants committing crimes.

Adams appears to be standing firm on his plan to modify the city's sanctuary laws amid recent crimes allegedly committed by migrants, while the council speaker wants to protect migrants who historically have felt threatened because of their status.

"We are not considering laws, changes to laws," said Adrienne Adams. "These laws have been in effect for decades."

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 can't have these small number of migrants and asylum seekers that have identified that they are going to be dangerous hide under the law that there is nothing you can do about it because you cannot tell ICE ," the mayor said during a news conference.

Adams comments come in response to recent violent attacks in the city.

In late January, a group of eight migrants attacked two NYPD officers in Times Square. In early February, a 15-year-old migrant was accused of shooting a tourist and then firing at a responding officer. Also, a suspected Venezuelan gang reportedly robbed more than 60 women, some viciously.

Speaker Adams believe collaborating with ICE isn't the answer.

"People are penned up in HERCS, and other places, in respite centers, whatever we want to call them," she said. "These places with different policies, with nothing to do (CUT TO ) So for me, it's going to be the work status."

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

"We are introducing a bill, a total repeal of the 2011, 2014, 2017 sanctuary city laws," City Councilman Joe Borelli said. "I don't anticipate much support from the other side unfortunately. They should come back with their own new version of the city's sanctuary city in noncompliance with ICE rules that allows the mayor to properly get people out of here who are committing violent and repeated crimes.,"

On behalf of ICE, Enforcement and Removal Operations New York City Field Office Director Kenneth Genalo released a statement saying, "ERO New York City continues to uphold its mission to protect the citizens and residents of New York by removing those who pose a public safety threat to our community. We welcome the opportunity to work with Mayor Adams and New York City officials and look forward to forging a mutually beneficial path that benefits all New Yorkers."

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

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

"I think it's a good thing to revisit," Isabel Harper said. "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."

As for Governor Kathy Hochul, she says this is a "city rule," adding that "City Council are the ones that he (Mayor Adams) has to work with."

(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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