© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
Mayor Adams says NYC must 'modify sanctuary city law' to facilitate deportation of law-breaking migrants
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mayor Adams says NYC must 'modify sanctuary city law' to facilitate deportation of law-breaking migrants

During a Monday evening town hall meeting, Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams called for changes to the city's "sanctuary" policy that would allow local law enforcement to turn over some law-breaking migrants to federal agents, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

Adams has previously expressed support for the city's sanctuary status. However, New York City's overwhelmed shelter system and increase in crime may be pushing the mayor to reconsider the policy.

A video of the town hall meeting posted on social media by independent photographer Leeroy Johnson captured Adams' remarks, where he appeared to walk back his stance on the city's sanctuary status policies.

"The overwhelming number of migrants and asylum-seekers that are here, they want to work. I still don't understand why the federal government is not allowing them to work. They need to have the right to work, like all of us that have come to this country have had the ability to do so," Adams stated.

"But those small numbers that have committed crimes, we need to modify the sanctuary city law that if you commit a felony or violent act, we should be able to turn you over to [United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and have you deported," Adams added.

The room erupted in applause in response to the mayor's comments.

In a separate video, Adams explained that the current laws are preventing him from curbing the illegal migrant crisis within the city.

"People tell me all the time, they see me on the street and they say, 'Well, Eric, why don't you stop the buses from coming in?' It's against the law, I can't. 'Why don't you allow those who want to work — allow them to work?' It's against the law — the federal law — I can't. 'Why do you say you have to house everyone that [comes] in?' Because that's the law. 'Why don't you deport those who commit crimes and harm people that are not doing the right thing?' It's against the law, I can't," Adams said.

Despite "inheriting a national crisis," Adams argued that New York City has handled the influx of migrants better than other cities across the country.

"You don't see tent cities in New York. You don't see children and families sleeping on the street in New York. This team here has managed the crisis each time they come," he added.

During the town hall meeting, New York Police Department Chief of Patrol John Chell noted that the city's law enforcement officials have seized 50,000 illegal scooters, bikes, and cars off of the streets. According to Chell, residents have repeatedly raised concerns about the stolen and illegal vehicles being used by migrants to commit crimes.

Earlier this month, minority Republicans in the New York state legislature proposed legislation that would effectively reverse the city's sanctuary policies, Blaze News previously reported. The bill, if passed, would allow local law enforcement agencies to coordinate with ICE.

Kenneth Genalo, the director of ICE's New York field office, has blamed the city's sanctuary policies for hindering the agency's ability to remove illegal migrants.

"We want to help. The problem is, due to city policies and state law, cooperation is no longer afforded between NYPD and ICE," Genalo told the New York Post.

"Once they're back in the community, we have to then go look for them," he added. "Instead of being able to take custody of these individuals in the confines of a jail or in the confines of a precinct, we now have to go out into the community and the streets where unfortunately the criminals have the upper hand."

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →