The New York Police Department ignored every one of the 1,526 requests from federal authorities to detain illegal immigrants during President Donald Trump’s first year in office, New York Daily News reported.
NYPD Legislative Affairs Director Oleg Chernyavsky told the City Council earlier this week that the number of requests to detain illegal immigrants was 20 times higher than it was the year before.
Chernyavsky said the police department complied with two of those requests in 2016 because they had federal arrest warrants.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD officials previously said that the police will not help ICE with detentions unless they’ve been convicted of at least one of 170 serious crimes, under New York City law.
“That speaks volumes to our intent as a city,” Chernyavsky said. “It’s important for victims of crimes, irrespective of their immigration status, to trust their police and to come forward and inform their police.”
Police have not been complying with ICE over the requests to detain undocumented immigrants for up to 48 hours until ICE can get to them.
ICE has been critical of the NYPD in a number of tweets.
“ICE recently arrested 9 in New York who were illegally in the U.S. All were released from NYPD custody with active detainers in place, and had pending criminal charges,” ICE tweeted Wednesday.
Chernyavsky said if an undocumented immigrant is arrested for a violent crime, they will prosecuted and jailed just like anyone else would.
“If an individual currently committed a crime, that individual would be arrested, prosecuted and so on by New York authorities for the violation of law,” he said. “Where the detainer law comes into play is how we’re approaching cooperation beyond the crime at hand.”
The NYPD has insisted that they are not working with federal deportation efforts unless these individuals pose a safety risk.
On Jan. 11, immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir was arrested and protesters appeared outside the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building. Police and Homeland Security arrested 18 people, including two councilmen.
Chernyavsky said there was no coordination between ICE and the NYPD, and ICE never sent any detention requests to the NYPD. Despite this, several council members claimed that there was coordination.
Police were not aware of what hospital Ragbir was taken to after he fainted while being detained by ICE.
“That just kind of really accentuates the fact that there was no cooperation with ICE,” Chernyavsky said. “When the individual left the scene in an ambulance, we reported to the nearest hospital, and it turned out that the individual was not there.”