Today, Mayor Bloomberg participated in a summit on comprehensive immigration reform held by President Obama. Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Danny Dromm (Chair of the Council’s Immigration Committee) released the following statement:
“Today, Mayor Bloomberg joined President Obama and a group of leaders from around the country at a summit to discuss the need to fix our broken immigration system. We thank the Mayor for continuously taking a bold stance on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform at a national level and his efforts to help bring common sense to the debate. However, there is still a great deal to be done here in New York City to protect our immigrant communities from our nation’s dysfunctional deportation system.
“Each year, thousands of New Yorkers are funneled into detention and removal proceedings due to the entanglement of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the City’s Department of Corrections (DOC) at Rikers Island. While the Mayor’s Office claims that the City collaborates with ICE in the interest of public safety, half of the immigrants who are transferred by DOC into ICE custody have no prior criminal records, and many are never even found guilty of the charges for which they have been arrested.
“It is difficult to reconcile Mayor Bloomberg’s national platform that our immigration system must be reformed when New York City is a willing participant and partner with the federal government in that same broken system. We call on the Mayor to reconsider his administration’s current position and to join us in crafting a sensible and balanced policy that will stop DOC from facilitating the deportation of those New Yorkers who pose no threat to public safety.”