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Mayor Adams says New York City’s ‘sanctuary’ status needs to be modified


(The Center Square) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams says the city’s sanctuary status should be changed to allow migrants charged with crimes to be turned over to federal immigration officials for deportation.

Speaking at a community meeting on Monday night, Adams said the city’s policy that restricts cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials needs to be modified to weed out the “small numbers” of migrants who commit serious crimes.

“So if you commit a violent act we should be able to turn you over to ICE and have you deported,” the Democrat told a gathering in Brooklyn. “Right now, we don’t have the authority to do so.”

Adams said the NYPD is dealing with incidents involving migrants who are participating in robberies using mopeds with “ghost” license plates to commit snatch-and-grab stick-ups across the city.

“The overwhelming number of migrants and asylum seekers here want to work,” Adams said. “I still don’t understand why the federal government isn’t allowing them to work.”

Adams’ remarks come amid rising concerns about crime in New York City amid a surge of migrants who have flocked to the city over the past year following a surge of immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Two weeks ago, a video of a group of migrants beating two NYPD officers fueled national outrage and prompted Adams to set curfews at homeless shelters where tens of thousands of migrants are being housed.

Neighbors who live near the tent shelters built by the city in Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn have complained about migrants panhandling and going door-to-door begging for food and clothes.

Reports of crimes around the shelters, including a fatal stabbing at a tent city on Randall’s Island last month, have raised public safety concerns, according to published reports.

New York City has had an influx of more than 170,000 migrants over the past year, with about 70,000 under the city’s care. The city has spent more than $1 billion on housing and other needs for migrants, and Adams has proposed budget cuts to cover those costs.

Under New York’s right-to-shelter law, the city must provide emergency housing to anyone who requests it, regardless of their immigration status. The city seeks to suspend the rules in court temporarily, but the outcome of the legal challenge remains uncertain.

Adams has set a 60-day limit on the length of stay in city-run homeless shelters but has also been seeking to relocate migrants to other regions of the state, which has been met with pushback and legal challenges from local officials.

Republicans have long said New York City’s “sanctuary” policies are encouraging asylum seekers to resettle in the city amid the surge of immigration.