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ICE-FREE NYC Campaign: Detainer ban at Rikers is a step forward, but Mayor de Blasio must lead in completely ridding New York of ICE
Message to New York City:
“Stop all collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and create a safe immigration legacy New Yorkers can be proud of.”
NEW YORK, October 15, 2014 — Members of the ICE-FREE NYC campaign welcome the proposed city council policy to end Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) presence and collaboration at Rikers Island Prison. Campaign member organization Families for Freedom is scheduled to give testimony at today’s city council hearing about the proposed legislation. We commend those who have championed this demand while we express concern about ICE’s continued presence in the City. We believe all New Yorkers have the right to remain together with their families and in their communities – citizens and noncitizens alike. While the change at Rikers is welcome, Mayor de Blasio can and must do more to protect all immigrants throughout New York.
It’s a step forward that under this proposed policy detainers will no longer be honored in NYC for the foreseeable future. But detainers are only one of the many ways that local police currently facilitate the deportation of New Yorkers. The mechanisms that facilitate ICE presence in our communities beyond the halls of Rikers Island would remain intact. For example, under this legislation city agencies are still permitted to share certain key personal information about individuals with ICE and DHS. Data sharing is especially of concern in regard to people who have been previously convicted, recently released and on probation, and information sharing remains unacceptable. And while we are heartened that ICE will not be allowed to maintain an office space at Rikers, there is nothing in the bill to prevent immigration agents from coming into the jail to look for people to deport.
Furthermore, limiting ICE’s access to New Yorkers in the jail setting will likely increase their presence in our community. According to the National Day Labor Organizing Network’s (NDLON) recent report, Destructive Delay, “While states and localities increasingly seek to limit the detention and deportation of community members by adopting “TRUST” policies that restrict collaboration between police and immigration enforcement, ICE has responded by going after immigrants in new and disturbing ways, including detaining people at court buildings and in probation programs, and arresting people on the basis of decades-old criminal convictions.”
We call on city council members, local immigrant rights and criminal justice organizations to join our call on the Mayor to truly make NYC ICE-Free by amending orders 34 and 41 to go beyond the detainer to end all forms of collaboration with ICE- as he has the executive power to do so.
As New Yorkers for an ICE-FREE NYC, we reiterate our call on Mayor de Blasio to end all collaboration between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and all City agencies. We urge Mayor de Blasio to use his executive authority to amend previous orders to:
- Explicitly prohibit the NYPD, DOC, and any City agency from holding someone for an immigration violation at the request of ICE.
- Explicitly prohibit the sharing of information about New Yorkers between ICE and all City agencies, via use of such probation databases and any other way that may reveal and individuals’ immigration status, and
- Explicitly prohibit ICE near sensitive locations including hospitals, courts, homeless shelters, public demonstrations, community centers, places of worship and schools.