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New York City Mayor Eric Adams challenges sanctuary city laws, calls for more cooperation with ICE

Mayor Eric Adams challenges sanctuary city laws, calls for more cooperation with ICE
Mayor Eric Adams challenges sanctuary city laws, calls for more cooperation with ICE 02:11

NEW YORK -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams is slamming the city's sanctuary laws, saying he supports working with federal immigration officials.

It comes after recent high-profile crimes allegedly committed by migrants, including an assault on two NYPD officers in Times Square last month and a tourist shot earlier this month during a robbery inside a Times Square clothing store.

Police also responded to a stabbing at a Manhattan shelter on Wednesday.

"The mere fact that we cannot share with ICE that this person has committed three robberies and this person is part of an organized gang crew ... The mere fact we can't say that and communicate that is a problem for me," Adams said.

Hizzoner stated several times this week that current policies are a detriment to public safety.

In a harsh rebuke of New York's sanctuary city status, Adams on Tuesday called for more cooperation between federal immigration officials and local police, supporting the idea of them working together to deport migrants who are suspected of serious crimes.

"I don't believe people who are violent in our city and commit repeated crimes should have the privilege of being in our city," Adams said.

Mayor Adams goes on the record with CBS New York 08:26

The deportation debate also got attention from Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, who posted on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, "If he's serious he should take executive action."

Gov. Kathy Hochul said the city and state have different sanctuary policies, adding the mayor doesn't need her approval.

"I've called for it before. If you commit a crime in the state of New York, you're arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and if you have to do jail time, at the conclusion, you need to be deported," Hochul said.

The city first began limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities in the 1980s.

But in 2014, under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio, the City Council added teeth to previous executive orders, passing a law that prohibits law enforcement from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests if a foreign national has been charged with a crime but not convicted.

"Our civil liberties are not up for debate here," said Murad Awawdeh, vice president of advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition. "People have the right to due process. That means you have your day in court, fight your case."

The mayor's remarks drew quick condemnation from immigration advocates and public defenders, who argue that current laws ensure immigrants are afforded due process and not torn apart from their families.

"These are accusations. That's what he wants. He wants mere accusations to land people in detention centers across this country," said Ellen Pachnanda of Brooklyn Defender Services.

Adams has not explicitly said which aspects of the policy he wishes to amend, but he cannot adjust laws without the approval of City Council.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams has made it clear the body does not plan to take up any changes.

"These laws have been in effect for decades. We believe in that," she said. 

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