Calls for NYC to resume cooperation with ICE after attack on NYPD officers by group in Times Square

Janice Yu Image
Monday, February 5, 2024
Calls for NYC to resume cooperation with ICE after attack on NYPD cops
N.J. Burkett has the latest.

TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- There are calls for New York City to resume cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

This comes as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg faces criticism for his handling of the beating of two NYPD officers in Times Square, allegedly at the hands of migrants.

Some lawmakers argue the attack on the two NYPD officers is just the latest example of why there needs to be a working relationship between federal immigration officials and the city.

Speaking at a Monday news conference, Mayor Eric Adams said ICE is able to operate in the city, even without cooperation of the city government, but he added migrants found guilty of violent crimes should be deported.

"I think anyone that is a repeated offender of a violent crime, a felony, should not remain on our streets. And if they are part of the migrant asylum seekers and they are found guilty, I think that the federal government should do their job of deporting that person," he said.

The relationship between ICE and New York City has been limited since 2014, when then-Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a law that limited the cooperation.

Authorities say 14 people were involved in the attack and of the six charged, only one was given bail and the DA's office declined to charge one of the men.

Only adding to the criticism, the four men are believed to have boarded a bus to a border town in California after they were charged and released without bail.

Manhattan DA Bragg has received a lot of criticism for this, but he defended his office's decision, saying they make decisions based on the evidence they have in front of them at the time, and that this isn't the end.

Adams said he talked with the district attorney over the weekend and said Bragg is being thorough.

"You can easily bring someone to justice but to have to complete the task of making sure your evidence is right so they can be held accountable for the action. You dont want to make a mistake in this case. and I think thats what he's doing, his level of thoroughness." Adams said.

The mayor says he cannot legally use city resources to cooperate with ICE based on the existing law.

"You repeatedly commit felonies, dangerous crimes. if you're found guilty, you should not be in our city. That's what I believe and ICE can execute warrants. ICE can have a role here. No one is stopping ICE from doing their job. They have a job to do when you deal with dangerous people such as that. I cannot use city resources based on existing law. I think that's a question that should be presented to the council. How do they want to move forward on this issue?" Adams said.

But New York Attorney General Latisha James, Governor Kathy Hochul, and the NYPD say bail should have been set for such a blatant and ruthless crime.

"This was a bail eligible offense. And why bail wasn't asked for we don't have an answer for that. But the judge also had an opportunity here to step in," said John Chell, Chief of Patrol, NYPD.

Bragg say his office is working hand in hand with the NYPD, and Tuesday Bragg will present evidence to a grand jury.

"I think that we have to really highlight that these are isolated incidents," said Robert Agyemang, Vice President of the New York Immigration Coalition. "It feeds into kind of the belief system that these people are coming and they're messing up things when it's not really the case."

According to data from the mayor's office, there were fewer migrants in the city's care since last week.

On January 7, 2024, the city reported 69,000 migrants in their care, as opposed to 67,500 on January 23. Meaning that migrants are leaving the city's care faster than they are coming in.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, and on Twitter @NYPDTips.

ALSO READ | Exclusive: NYPD cracks down on illegal scooters amid investigation into officers attacked

Josh Einiger has the exclusive report.


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