Eric Adams demands New York walk back 'sanctuary city' status so criminals can be deported

"If you commit a felony, a violent act, we should be able to turn you over to ICE and have you deported," Adams said.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
During a town hall event on Monday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that New York's sanctuary city status does not provide the ability for officials to deport illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who are found guilty of criminal acts. Adams said there should be more options for lawmakers when it came to deporting illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

Under the current santuary system, local laws in the numerous sanctuary cities, counties, and states, including New York City, prevent local officers from working with federal immigration officials for the purpose of deportations. The city essentially protects illegal immigrants from federal authorities who may seek to deport them. This concept was reinforced during the Trump administration, when so many Democrat-led cities and states wanted to push back against his federal curbs to illegal immigration. 

During Trump's last year in office, 2020, there were less than 500,000 apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the US-Mexico border, under Biden that number has climbed to well over 2 million.


"The overwhelming amount of migrants that are here, they want to work; I still don't understand why the federal government's not allowing them to work," Adams said. “They need to have the right to work like all of us that have come to this country had the ability to do so." Current law prevents asylum seekers from automatically gaining working papers. Illegal immigrants who have applied for asylum must wait before they are permitted to legally find work. 

"But those small numbers that are committing crimes," he continued, "we need to modify the sanctuary city law that if you commit a felony, a violent act, we should be able to turn you over to [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and have you deported. It is a right to live in this city, and you should be not committing crimes in our city."

Adams lamented the fact that, at least "right now," the city doesn't have the authority to do so.

The mayor's comments come following a series of violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants in the city. Several Venezuelan gang members have been charged with brutally beating NYPD officers in Times Square and committing robberies. There have been concerns among law enforcement that the Venezuelan gangs may team up with the violent MS-13 gang.

New York City became a sanctuary city in the 1980's under Democrat Mayor Ed Koch, and has since taken in countless illegal immigrants. In recent months, however, as the situation at the border became too much for southern states to handle, an unprecedented number of illegal immigrants have been shuttled up to the Big Apple, as well as other sanctuary cities like Chicago.

Adams has warned on numerous occasions that the influx will "destroy" the city, and called on the federal government to provide assistance for the nearly 10,000 extra people NYC officials need to find shelter, food, and other resources for every month.

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