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ICE agents spotted in NYC neighborhoods since Saturday, de Blasio says 

The city government is deploying personnel to educate the public to "Know Your Rights."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Bitta Mostofi on Wednesday talked about where ICE agents have been observed in the city since Saturday. (Credit: Newsday / Matthew Chayes)

Federal agents have been spotted on at least eight occasions in New York City since Saturday, apparently seeking to detain immigrants who are living in the United States illegally, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The efforts, by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, were unsuccessful, de Blasio said at an unrelated news conference in Brooklyn.

It was unclear whether the activity was related to nationwide raids, promised by President Donald Trump for this past Sunday, to detain about 2,000 immigrants living in the country illegally. The targeted immigrants had already been ordered deported after failing to show up to court, ICE has said.

“Four on Saturday, three on Tuesday, one today, four of them in Sunset Park, one in Harlem, one in Midwood, one in Far Rockaway, one in Bay Ridge — that was the one today," de Blasio said Wednesday. "We were told there would be this massive blitz. And so far again, eight situations strung out over five days."

The city government is deploying personnel to educate the public to “Know Your Rights” — such as the right to refuse to open the door for immigration agents absent a warrant, said Bitta Mostofi, commissioner of de Blasio's Office of Immigrant Affairs. 

“Actually a staff person from the administration witnessed an encounter in Bay Ridge with the door being knocked,” Mostofi said, with at least one agent seeking “somebody in that location who was no longer there.”

Since the beginning of his mayoralty, de Blasio has curtailed the New York City government’s cooperation with ICE, including booting the agency from the Rikers Island jail complex and issuing ID cards to city residents regardless of whether the person is in the country legally.

De Blasio, bolstered by the City Council leadership, opposes Trump’s latest efforts.

“This is not just 500,000 undocumented folks,” he said. “It's all of their family members, there’s a huge number of people in fear.”


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