Every year, the City of New York assists the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) in the deportation of thousands of immigrants at Rikers Island — many of whom have no criminal record and are here legally or seeking asylum.
This collaboration costs NYC taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and violates the rights and safety of thousands of immigrants — documented and undocumented — while needlessly tearing their families apart.
This week, MRNY co-Executive Director Andrew Friedman and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer wrote an op-ed in the New York Times detailing the extent of this problem and calling on Mayor Bloomberg to cease this collaboration with ICE.
For Ricardo Muñiz, a young man wrongfully accused of committing a crime, NYC’s detention policy has proved a nightmare.
Muñiz had been awaiting trial in Riker’s Island jail for almost two years, unable to post bail because ICE placed a detainer on him.
Muñiz was fully exonerated by a Brooklyn jury on March 28, but his two years of wrongful imprisonment are not enough to remove him from deportation proceedings. Mayor Bloomberg’s policy is to honor all federal immigration detainers without exercising any discretion, requiring NYC taxpayers to foot the bill, even when the detainees may be innocent of any crime.
Thousands of families like the Muñiz’s are wrenched apart every year by this dangerous and misguided policy that funnels thousands of hard-working New Yorkers into the black hole of immigration detention and deportation. We urge Mayor Bloomberg to cease NYC’s collaboration with ICE and ensure safety and justice for our City’s vital immigrant communities.
Read more in this week’s op-ed by MRNY co-Executive Director Andrew Friedman and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
Photo © William Alatriste