New York City Bill Aims To Repeal Sanctuary Status as Migrant Arrivals Surpass 200,000

‘Like most things in New York, sanctuary city policy is a social experiment gone off the rails,’ one councilman says.

AP/John Minchillo
Pedestrians pass migrants waiting in a queue outside of the Roosevelt Hotel, which is being used by New York City as temporary housing. AP/John Minchillo

New York City council members will introduce a bill on Thursday aiming to repeal the city’s sanctuary status, as more than 200,000 migrants have overwhelmed the city since the spring of 2022. 

The Common Sense Caucus, headed by council members Robert Holden, a Democrat, and Joe Borelli, a Republican, says it will announce the introduction of legislation at noon on Thursday at City Hall. 

“Sanctuary city laws put all New Yorkers, both immigrants and longtime residents, in danger by preventing the NYPD and DOC from working with ICE,” Mr. Holden said, the New York Post reported. “We do not need to import criminals, and only 23 years since 9/11, we have forgotten the deadly consequences of poor interagency communication. We must repeal these laws immediately.”

The city recently said it has spent more than $4.6 billion in taxpayers’ dollars on the migrant crisis so far and is operating more than 200 emergency shelters to care for thousands of migrants. 

Since the spring of 2022, “a population larger than that of most major U.S. cities has descended on the five boroughs, asking for shelter,” Mayor Adams’s office said in a statement, ABC 7 reports

“Like most things in New York, sanctuary city policy is a social experiment gone off the rails,” Mr. Borelli said. “All the problems with these local laws came out during the public-hearing process, but the Council just stepped harder on the gas pedal.”

While the legislation is expected to face pushback from Democrats on the city council, even the city’s liberal leadership has been calling for change amid the growing crisis. Earlier this year in a drastic shift of attitude towards the city’s sanctuary policies, Mr. Adams expressed support for working with federal authorities when it comes to migrants accused of committing a crime.

When asked by the Sun whether the mayor would support the bill repealing the city’s sanctuary status, Mr. Adams’s office said it will review the legislation. 

“Mayor Adams has been clear that no law-abiding New Yorker should ever be fearful of seeking city services or help from the police because of their immigration status,” a representative of City Hall tells the Sun, noting that the lack of fear is the “principal purpose of New York being a sanctuary city.” 

“But he has also expressed concerns about the small number of individuals who have abused these laws and committed repeat offenses in our city with no repercussions,” the representative says. “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.”

The New York Sun

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