Advocates gathered outside City Hall on Thursday afternoon to urge Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to curtail arrests for petty offenses that could lead to immigrants being deported under President Donald Trump’s executive order.
At issue is the NYPD’s broken-widows crime control philosophy, which targets small crimes like fare evasion on the theory that the focus prevents bigger ones. The advocates highlight the broad language in the executive order, which Trump issued last week, covering “any criminal offense” or “acts that would constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”
De Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito both affirmed in the hours and days after Trump signed the order that New York would remain a “sanctuary jurisdiction” that shields immigrants, regardless of whether they’re living in the country legally, in most circumstances from federal enforcement, despite threats by Trump to cut off federal funding for doing so.
But the advocates say that the city’s efforts are insufficient and note that post-arrest fingerprints and other personal information are given to the federal government, and that the city cannot prevent an arrest from being used against an immigrant outside the five boroughs or at the border.
Karina Garcia of the Act Now to Stop War & End Racism Coalition faulted de Blasio for distancing NYPD practices from the fallout of a Trump executive order intensifying immigration enforcement.
“You’re asking us to separate the act of deportation from what is pushing immigrants into the deportation machine, and that happens because of local policies that you control,” said Garcia, 31, of Elmhurst, Queens.
Asked on Wednesday whether she would reconsider broken-windows enforcement in light of Trump’s order, Mark-Viverito highlighted the laws and policies passed during her tenure and said it’s too early to know how the order will play out.
The groups include the Coalition to End Broken Windows, Families for Freedom, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and ICE-FREE NYC.