Comments by Sanwar Ali:
There have been numerous complaints about aggressive and unjust behaviour by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). It is inevitable that with Trump policies you will have more animosity than normal towards organisations such as ICE. If Biden wins the presidential elections it seems quite likely that things will change.
US Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents have been accused of using deceptive tactics while carrying out enforcement operations. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently sent a letter to federal officials urging ICE agents to stop identifying themselves as New York Police Department (NYPD) officers.
New York City’s mayor said that he has received several reports showing a pattern of deceptive behavior with ICE agents claiming to be local police when performing enforcement duties.
In de Blasio’s letter, sent to interim ICE Director, Tony Pham, and ICE New York Field Operations Director, Thomas Decker, the New York City mayor said: “The reports indicate that ICE officers often identify themselves as ‘police’ or ‘detectives’ and state that they are conducting an investigation.”
Specific police precincts
De Blasio’s letter claims that agents have even referred to specific police precincts and squads such as the ‘narcotics squad’ and even arranged to meet individuals at police precincts.
The New York mayor said: “These types of activities jeopardize the willingness and comfort of immigrant New Yorkers in interacting with the NYPD on crucial matters involving public safety and local law enforcement.”
“The NYPD already conducts regular community outreach to immigrant community members to educate the public about our confidentiality policies for all victims and witnesses, regardless of US immigration status. ICE actions that exacerbate confusion about NYPD’s work and relationship to immigration enforcement are counterproductive to these efforts,” de Blasio added.
The actions of ICE agents have sparked further unrest in a long-standing conflict over New York City’s so-called sanctuary policies.
New York City taken to court
Earlier in 2020, ICE took New York City to court after de Blasio’s administration scoffed at ‘US immigration subpoenas’ it received from the federal government, requesting information about a handful of inmates wanted for deportation. The city did end up providing very limited details about the inmates.
However, City officials did describe the subpoenas as a ‘political stunt’. Meanwhile, the move further emphasises ICE’s mounting frustration with so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to honor deportation ‘detainers’ or disclose details about defendants going in and out of local custody.
In his letter, New York City’s mayor said: “New York City remains the safest big city in America in large part because of NYPD’s work to ensure that victims and witnesses of crime feel safe coming forward.”
Black jogger stopped
ICE’s actions in New York come following recent controversy in Boston, where ICE agents stopped and detained a black jogger in the area, despite failing to identify themselves and disclose that he’d been stopped for potential US visa and immigration violations.
The incident, which drew the wrath of Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh, comes amid rising racial tensions across the US. The federal government has deployed US immigration agents across the country to tackle protests and more, much to the fury of city officials.
Ahead of the US elections in November, the Trump administration has set immigration in its sights, introducing greater restrictions under the guise of protecting American interests.
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