Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a measure that limits in certain circumstances the cooperation between the New York City Department of Corrections and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Until now, the department has honored requests from ICE to hold undocumented immigrants at the city’s Rikers Island prison an additional 48 hours after their cases are concluded.
Under the new ordinance, Corrections will not comply with ICE detainers in instances where the immigrant has no criminal record, faces no pending charges and is not on the terrorism watch list.
Protests by pro-immigrant organizations, activists, immigrants and their relatives resulted in City Council President Christine Quinn and many of her colleagues presenting a bill to reduce cooperation with ICE.
The drafters of the bill said that 50 percent of the 3,506 foreign-born Rikers inmates subjected to ICE detainers in 2009 had no prior convictions.
Upon signing the bill, Bloomberg emphasized the impact that the immigrant population has on the life of the city.
“New York is a city of immigrants, and it is impossible to overstate the role immigrants play in our city’s economy, culture, and civic vitality. As such, my Administration has gone to great lengths to ensure that immigrants have the opportunity to thrive here in the five boroughs,” the mayor said.