Deportation Report Suggests NYC is ‘Capital of ICE’

Mexican-American Agustina Pérez said she experienced firsthand the anguish of ICE’s actions when her mother was detained. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

In spite of efforts by both the city and the state to defend and protect immigrant New Yorkers since Donald Trump got elected, “la migra” has dramatically increased detentions and deportations in the Big Apple, an alarming report released Thursday by City Comptroller Scott Stringer reveals.

Between 2016 and 2018, the number of deportations by ICE officers in New York City jumped from 1,037 to 2,593, a 150 percent increase, making New York the the city with the third largest increase in deportations after Denver and Chicago.

The report, entitled “The Demographics of Detention,” also noted a dramatic 265.5 percent increase in deportations of those with no prior criminal convictions — or more than 800 people. (…)

“(…) New York City is becoming the capital of ICE aggression,” said Comptroller Stringer, adding that the price being paid by thousands of families is really high. “We need to get ICE the hell out of this city.”

According to the report, after Trump took power arrests made for a civil violation of immigration law rose by 88.2 percent, going from 1,847  in 2016 to 3,476 in 2018. (…) Also, the number of new deportation cases in the New York City courts grew to 19,750 – a 30 percent increase.

Guatemalans are the Hispanics with the most immigration cases in the courts, with a total of 3,924, followed by Ecuadoreans (3,677), Mexicans (3,420), Hondurans (3,207), Salvadorans (2,849) and Dominicans (740). [Guatemalan] cases are surpassed only by those of immigrants from China, with 10,804 cases, and India (5,172).

Stringer called on the city to ensure access to legal services for immigrants with court cases, and to remove restrictions that prevent certain low-income immigrants from gaining access to city-funded programs. He also urged the city to keep supporting the New York Immigrant Freedom Fund. (…)

Mexican-American Agustina Pérez said she experienced firsthand the anguish of ICE’s actions after her 43-year-old mother was detained last year in her El Barrio apartment. Hers is one of the thousands of stories that are part of the comptroller’s report.

“I ask [immigration authorities] to be more humane, to remember that they also have parents, and that if they take my mom away they are going to destroy an entire family. To be honest, we don’t know if she is going to be able to stay in the country. We don’t know if she is coming back home,” said the youth, adding that her mother is scheduled to appear before immigration officials next March. “She has diabetes and is quite devastated, especially because she’s a woman who raised me and my brother, and was doing the same with my 13-year-old little sister. She raised us to be professionals, she paid her taxes, and she is really hurt by being in this situation.”

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, who was undocumented for 13 years, said that if New York really wants to be a sanctuary state, it needs to promote more legislative action to protect families from ICE.

“What this president wants is to destroy our immigrant soul and make money off it, because let’s not kid ourselves, money is what’s behind his ideas and the wall. That’s why I ask my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly to unite. We can’t leave the city alone with all the work of protecting our immigrants,” said the Queens politician.

(…) Bitta Mostofi, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, said the Trump administration’s immigration agenda divides families and is “cruel and counterproductive,” both on the border and in New York, urging those affected to seek the help offered by the city.


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