NYC Mayor Adams Working With ICE To Circumvent 'Sanctuary City' Laws

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 27, 2024 - 03:40 PM

New York City Mayor Eric Adams' administration has been coordinating with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to circumvent the city's strict sanctuary city laws, which the agency says has hamstrung their efforts to perform their duties, the NY Post reports.

Ken Genalo, the Brooklyn-born field director for the agency’s New York office, has for months been pushing back against city policies that bar local authorities from cooperating with his 360-person staff.

After years of what he describes as hostile treatment from the administration of former Mayor Bill de Blasio — Genalo said the agency was kicked “away from the table” — he seems to have met a more willing partner in Mayor Eric Adams.

"I’ve been working with the mayor’s office, I have had dialogue with them," said ICE's Genalo. "I give them kudos — the prior administration under Mr. de Blasio … there was no dialogue at all.

"With Mayor Adams’ office, we’ve had numerous dialogues," he continued. "At least we’re back at the table and speaking with one another again."

The City Council told the Post on Sunday that the two sides are discussing how to possibly amend sanctuary city laws that prevent coordination between local and federal law enforcement.

"The law went from, ‘We will welcome undocumented immigrants,’ to ‘We will protect violent criminals’ under de Blasio — as progressive ideology went from compassion for the poor to cuckoo for cocoa puffs," said one council source.

Genalo, a decades-long ICE veteran, says he's made progress with city officials, but wishes that it would "come faster."

"But at least I can say there has been progress," he continued.

The director’s comments come as some local lawmakers — including Adams himself — have softened to the idea that the city’s sanctuary laws might have to change so migrants accused of crimes can be more easily deported.

In 2014, de Blasio signed a law that largely barred the NYPD from working with federal immigration officials.

He went even further four years later, issuing citywide guidance and NYPD protocols that codified the Big Apple’s policy of not cooperating with the feds’ immigration enforcement activities.

Genalo, who oversees removal operations in NYC,  Long Island and seven counties in lower Hudson valley, says that ICE's ability to detain criminal suspects is particularly important.

"Until we arrest the individual, we cannot initiate removal proceedings," he said. "So when these individuals that you see across New York City that have been arrested … [ICE] wants to take them into custody as soon as possible."

For years, the NYPD and Department of Corrections has been ignoring such detainers under orders of city officials, which Genalo says puts ICE at a tremendous disadvantage.

New York Courts, meanwhile, are releasing suspects so fast that it forces Genalo's team to start  from scratch if they want to track that person down.

"They release them back into the community at large," he said. "And then once again, my staff has to go and arrest them.

"If we don’t find out right away, we’re already behind the eight-ball," he continued. "A lot of times these individuals, they’ll change addresses, they’re transient, they change names, they might go to different states."

According to Genalo, "All of this could be taken care of, basically, upon the arrest and release from Rikers," adding that ICE once had a unit based out of the city jail which took "hundreds of people into custody on a daily basis."

"Now, all those people are released back into the community," he said. "And, you know, the recidivism rate is high on these individuals."