NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — All 36,000 NYPD officers were issued a memo Wednesday that emphasized the New York City’s commitment to immigrants.
As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, police Commissioner O’Neill said in the memo that “the NYPD is committed to a welcoming environment for immigrant communities while also maintaining public safety for all.”READ MORE: COVID Vaccine: Bronx Residents Can Begin Scheduling Appointments For Johnson & Johnson Shots
“It is critical that everyone who comes in contact with the NYPD, regardless of their immigration status, be able to identify themselves or seek assistance without hesitation, anxiety, or fear,” the memo added.
O’Neill underlined that the NYPD does not enforce administrative warrants issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, or federal immigration judges connected to civil immigration violations such as overstaying a lawful visa.
The memo came as the Trump administration announced plans to expand greatly the number of people living in the U.S. illegally who are considered a priority for deportation, including people arrested for traffic violations.COVID 1 Year: 'Long Haulers' Still On Long Road To Recovery, 'A Complete Lifestyle Change'
The Homeland Security Department memos, signed by Secretary John Kelly, lay out that any immigrant living in the United States illegally who has been charged or convicted of any crime — and even those suspected of a crime — will now be an enforcement priority. That could include people arrested for shop lifting or minor traffic offenses.
The DHS memos eliminate far more narrow guidance issued under the Obama administration that focused resources strictly on immigrants who had been convicted of serious crimes, threats to national security and recent border crossers.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio fired back Tuesday night, saying “the president has chosen the politics of division over our nation’s safety.”
“We have been clear from the start that we will work with federal immigration authorities to remove individuals who are proven public safety threats in our City. What we will not do is turn our NYPD officers into immigration agents – or our jails into holding pens for deportation policy that will only undermine the inclusiveness that has helped make New York City the safest big city in the nation,” his statement read in part.
The DHS memos do not change U.S. immigration laws, but take a far harder line toward enforcement.MORE NEWS: Wife Of Top Cuomo Aide Shows Support On Social Media For Governor's Latest Sexual Harassment Accuser
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)