New York City’s Sanctuary Policies Under Fire, Even Democrats Want Changes

New York City is destroyed by its adoption of Sanctuary City policies, and even Democrats want to do something about it, as they all reject Democrat Joe Biden’s open borders.

Media reports on Sunday show that a bipartisan group of New York City Council members is advocating for the city to abandon its “sanctuary city” status due to escalating migrant flows and associated violence. This push, led by Council members Robert Holden, a Democrat from Queens, and Joe Borelli, a Republican from Staten Island, aims to repeal sanctuary laws implemented by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and upheld by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017. These laws restrict local cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and prevent the use of city resources for federal immigration enforcement.

The influx of over 200,000 migrants in the past two years, with around 65,000 currently housed in various city facilities, has strained New York City’s shelter system and heightened national scrutiny. The proposed legislation seeks to address concerns about crime and safety, with Holden asserting that the city should not shield individuals who commit crimes. “We have enough criminals in this city; we don’t need to import more and protect them as well,” Holden told Newsweek via email, advocating for the immediate deportation of those involved in serious crimes.

Mayor Eric Adams’s office is reviewing the legislation. A spokesperson for the mayor highlighted the importance of ensuring that law-abiding residents, regardless of their immigration status, can access city services and police assistance without fear. However, Adams has also voiced concerns about individuals who exploit sanctuary laws to commit repeat offenses without facing the consequences.

“That isn’t fair to New Yorkers or to the tens of thousands of immigrants who have come here in pursuit of the American Dream,” his office stated.

Holden acknowledges that advancing the bill will be challenging but insists that it aligns with the interests of constituents who want to see criminals removed from the streets. A recent poll conducted for Newsweek by Redfield & Wilton Strategies revealed that over 70 percent of 974 surveyed New York City voters attribute the city’s crime rate to migrants, with 41 percent perceiving a significant impact and 31 percent seeing a fair amount of impact.

The issue gained further attention following the alleged involvement of 17-year-old migrant Bernardo Raul Castro-Mata in a shooting incident with NYPD officers. Castro-Mata faces 17 charges, including two counts of attempted murder in the first degree. Holden’s spokesperson reiterated the Council member’s longstanding concerns about the lack of cooperation between local, state, and federal law enforcement, a problem underscored by the post-9/11 formation of DHS/ICE. “The increased flow of migrants into the city definitely has done more harm than good,” the spokesperson stated.

This legislative effort reflects broader tensions in New York City over balancing sanctuary policies with public safety concerns. As the debate continues, the city must navigate the complexities of immigration enforcement while addressing the immediate needs and concerns of its diverse population.


New York City’s sanctuary policies are designed to protect undocumented immigrants by limiting the city’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities. These policies include:

Non-Cooperation with ICE: City agencies, including the New York Police Department (NYPD), are restricted from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in certain situations. This includes not honoring ICE detainer requests unless they are accompanied by a judicial warrant, or the individual has been convicted of a serious or violent crime.

Prohibiting City Resources for Immigration Enforcement: City resources and property cannot be used to assist federal immigration enforcement efforts. This means city employees are generally prohibited from sharing information about a person’s immigration status with ICE.

Access to Services: Sanctuary policies ensure that all residents, regardless of immigration status, can access city services without fear of deportation. This includes healthcare, education, and law enforcement assistance. The goal is to encourage undocumented immigrants to seek help and report crimes without fear of immigration consequences.

Confidentiality: City officials are often required to keep a person’s immigration status confidential. This helps build trust between immigrant communities and city agencies, ensuring that individuals feel safe accessing services and reporting crimes.

IDNYC Program: New York City offers a municipal identification card, known as IDNYC, to all residents regardless of immigration status. This card helps residents access city services, enter public buildings, and open bank accounts.

Legal Assistance: The city provides legal aid and resources to undocumented immigrants, including those facing deportation. Programs like ActionNYC offer free, confidential legal screenings and assistance.

These sanctuary policies are designed to foster trust between immigrant communities and local government, ensuring public safety and access to essential services for all residents, regardless of immigration status.

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