NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With President Donald Trump’s new deportation orders expected at any moment, the city’s top cop has told his troops the NYPD will not cooperate, but experts say that defiance could come at a steep cost.
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, you won’t see the NYPD participating in the round-up of illegal immigrants, like one in Los Angeles two weeks ago. Police Commissioner James O’Neill sent an internal memo to the men and women of the NYPD, ordering them not to comply.
“The NYPD does not conduct civil immigration enforcement. Specifically, this department does not enforce administrative warrants issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents or federal immigration judges, solely in connection with civil immigration violations. For example, the NYPD does not arrest or detain individuals for immigration violations such as overstaying a lawfully issued visa,” he said in a pointed 431-word bulletin.
O’Neill acted as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump’s new deportation guidelines are being readied.
“The order is finalized. It’s awaiting implementation,” Spicer said.
A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city police will not change, no matter what the president says.
“The mayor and the NYPD won’t be changing positions,” Press Secretary Eric Phillips said.
An NYPD spokesperson said O’Neill was simply reiterating NYPD policy that has been in effect since de Blasio took office. He said while police honor federal warrants when there is a risk to public safety, last year the NYPD turned over two of 72 illegal immigrants sought by the feds.
Security expert Manny Gomez, a former police officer and FBI agent, said O’Neill is improperly handcuffing his officers.
“It’s not fair to the cops and it’s a threat to public safety,” he told Kramer. “The police department’s policy should be clear cut and simple. You commit a crime, you get found out to be illegal, you get handed over to the federal authorities.”
Gomez said the city’s defiance will come at a price — a cut in federal aid.
“The city of New York does not want to go head-to-head with the White House. That’s a losing battle,” he said.
The city gets more than $7 billion from Washington, and while Gomez said the president could retaliate by cutting funding for the NYPD, he could just as easily slash housing or transportation grants to send the message that defiance comes at a cost.