Federal immigration officials arrested 225 people in a sweeping six-day raid in the five boroughs and surrounding counties, officials said.
Operation Keep Safe, as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency called it, netted 163 people in the city between April 9 through April 14 — 45 of whom had no outstanding criminal issue.
ICE officials said that 180 of those arrested were convicted criminals or had criminal charges pending against them, but refused to release their names. Those people now face deportation.
The feds groused that the city refused to cooperate in the arrests, claiming that it only increases the amount of people arrested who pose no public safety threat.
Mayor de Blasio has declared New York to be a sanctuary city, which will not hold nonviolent inmates with detention orders or request immigration status before offering social services.
“ICE continues to face significant obstacles with policies created by local officials, which hinder cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement. Yet, with the tireless efforts of the men and women of ICE, this operation was a great success,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for enforcement removal operations in New York.
“The fact is that a so-called sanctuary city does not only provide refuge to those who are here against immigration law, but also provides protections for criminal aliens who prey on the people in their own communities by committing crimes at all levels.”
ICE said that the people without criminal problems who were nabbed, which they call “collateral arrests,” were a byproduct of the city’s noncooperation.
“ICE has no choice but to continue to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community,” the agency said.
Immigration advocates counter that the more aggressive deportation enforcement under the Trump administration doesn’t make anyone any safer and often rips hardworking families apart.
“The recent ICE raids are a clear illustration on the ongoing, and escalating, attack on our communities by the Trump administration,” Yatziri Tovar, spokeswoman for Make the Road New York.
“Make no mistake: This is about tearing apart families who have lived here for many years, with no regard for their deep ties to our communities and enormous contributions to New York City and state.”