Mayor Adams Calls for Reform of Migrant Sanctuary Policies

Posted By NYC Newswire

By Asar John

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he wants to restore the city’s sanctuary policy to one that existed under former mayors Ed Koch and Michael Bloomberg, after a series of robberies were committed as part of a crime ring organized by a Venezuelan migrant.

The previous law allowed law enforcement to question a person’s immigration status if they were suspected of a crime.

“I want to go back to the standards of the previous mayors who I believe subscribe to my belief that people who are suspected of committing serious crimes in the city should be held accountable,” said Adams at his regular Tuesday press briefing, referencing the Bronx robberies. “This person was a menace to what they were doing.”

Lisa Zornberg, chief counsel to the mayor and City Hall, explained that the current law, enacted by the City Council in 2014 and 2017, reduced the city’s cooperation with federal law enforcement regarding undocumented individuals, except if one is convicted of a “serious or violent felony.”

When asked if the mayor’s stance on reviving the old law removes due process for a suspected individual, Adams said, “they didn’t give due process to the person that they shot or punched or killed.”

“They could have due process, but we should be communicating with ICE,” he said.

Meanwhile, the mayor got a chance to boast about the city’s fiscal status, as four credit rating agencies, including Moody’s and S&P, reaffirmed the city’s bond ratings, citing its well-managed financial plans.

“We are cautiously optimistic about our financial future,” said Adams, who said the city has $8.2 billion in reserves, allowing him to restore funding to public safety  and cancel an additional round of spending cuts scheduled for April.

“Thanks to our proactive fiscal management, reductions in asylum seeker spending, and better-than-expected economic recovery, we have confronted our financial challenges and shown the world that New York City is back and open for business,” said Adams.

With regards to the Department of Buildings uncovering over 70 migrants sheltering in the basement of a Liberty Avenue furniture store in Queens Monday, Adams said in a situation like the migrant crisis, there are going to be attempts to “exploit” shelter.

“There’s some that are going to attempt to do illegal housing,” said Adams. “So, we have an obligation with DOB, FDNY and all of our services to respond and take necessary action.”

The discovery at the Richmond Hill furniture store was prompted by a 311 fire hazard complaint regarding e-bikes being stored on the property.  Adams said he was unsure where the migrants were relocated to after the store basement was evacuated.

“In those areas where there’s a problem like in Queens, we’re going to respond and we’re going to take the necessary steps,” said Adams, noting over 110,00 migrants that the city has provided care for as they’ve arrived.

On the heels of President Joe Biden’s Monday visit to New York, Adams said he doesn’t have any plans to meet with Biden on his future stops to the city, but hopes the federal government will provide more relief to New York as it tackles the migrant crisis.

“I think we have been clear on our 10 trips through the White House speaking with his team that we’re hoping any policies would include a decompression strategy at the border, proper funding and the right to work,” said Adams.

In other news, Deputy Mayor of Operations, Meera Joshi, addressed plans for e-bike charging stations outside of NYCHA campuses. The charging stations come through a $25 million emergency grant issued last June. 

“It’ll be safe charging and secure bike locking so people aren’t bringing the bikes into their residence,” said Joshi, as the city has seen a spate of building fires related to lithium-ion batteries used to power the bikes.

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