Mayor Adams signaled Tuesday that he “would love to entertain” the chance of cooperating more with federal immigration authorities in situations involving migrants who’ve committed “dangerous crimes” — a departure from past statements he’s made on New York City’s sanctuary status.
Adams, who testified before lawmakers in Albany on Tuesday, was responding to a question from state Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) who asked if he’d consider issuing an executive order to allow the NYPD to engage in more cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
As he’s done before, Adams reiterated that city laws passed in 2014 under former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration prevent him from doing that, but added that he’d be open to such a move if the city’s lawyers gave him their stamp of approval.
“If my legal team tells me I have the authority to have cooperation with ICE for those who commit felony dangerous crimes, that is something we would love to entertain,” he said.
Adams weighed in on the issue a day earlier as well — saying that it was up to the City Council to “review” those laws — but on Monday, he stopped short of offering a preference on how he would like to proceed.
The rhetoric and wrangling over the city’s sanctuary status comes just days after migrants were accused of beating two NYPD officers in Times Square. More recently, on Monday, the NYPD announced that they’d busted seven people — five of them migrants — in connection with a series of brazen cell phone robberies carried out on mopeds.
In recent weeks, Adams has fielded a number of questions on how leading a sanctuary city has impacted his ability to manage the migrant crisis, which has strained the city’s budget and sent his administration into repeated scrambles over how to care for the more than 150,000 asylum seekers who’ve streamed into the city over the past two years.
Asked by a reporter Tuesday in Albany if he’s been reluctant to share his views on the city’s sanctuary status because he believes current restrictions should remain as is, Adams said “no” and added that he intends to discuss the issue at greater length with the City Council, which just last week overrode two of his vetos on criminal justice bills he opposed.
“I don’t want to broadside the City Council. We’re going to have the conversation about those who commit serious crimes, and I want to sit down with them first, have the conversation and then we’ll publicly say what we’re doing,” he said.
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