Andrew Cuomo

New York’s limited power to resist ICE raids

While New York’s elected officials have vowed to “fight back" against ICE’s planned immigration raids this weekend, their powers are mostly confined to “know your rights” campaigns, legal assistance and non-cooperation with ICE. Here’s what the city and state can and can’t do.

A protest march calling on the government to abolish ICE in New York City, 2018.

A protest march calling on the government to abolish ICE in New York City, 2018. Christopher Penler/Shutterstock

President Donald Trump’s plans to arrest thousands of undocumented immigrations across the country this weekend have drawn sharp rebukes from New York’s elected officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

For weeks, Trump has teased raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, targeting immigrants who have been ordered deported and remain in the country illegally, though the raids are expected to include “collateral deportations” – immigrants who are not being targeted but who happen to be on the scene when the targets are apprehended.

While Cuomo and de Blasio have vowed to “fight back” against the planned raids, much of their power to do so is confined to “know your rights” campaigns, legal assistance and non-cooperation with ICE’s enforcement efforts. “As far as I know, there's nothing specific that a city or state can do if the ICE agents have a proper warrant,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School. “There's nothing that state can do to stop them from executing that warrant to go try to find that person and arrest them.”

“Know your rights” campaigns focus on things like the fact that ICE agents need a judicial warrant to enter a home, though they sometimes arrive with only administrative warrants. New York also recently barred ICE agents from making arrests inside courthouses without a judicial warrant.

Non-cooperation, however, is a tool that could have some weight. The feds seem to value cooperation from local officials, and some localities are happy to help. In some states, mostly conservative ones such as Georgia and Texas, local law enforcement offices have signed on to 287(g) agreements, which deputize state and local officials to aid federal immigration enforcement in local jails and prisons, allowing them to investigate, detain and transport people facing deportation. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that as of May of this year, 80 such agreements exist in 21 states. 

De Blasio has directed New York City to take the opposite approach. The mayor said this week that no city agency, including the NYPD, would assist ICE in any way, and a spokeswoman for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs stressed the New York City local law that prohibits city agencies from partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enforce federal immigration law. A memo issued to the NYPD by Commissioner James O’Neill around that time emphasizes that the “NYPD does not inquire about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses or others who call or approach the police seeking assistance,” and does not conduct civil immigration enforcement. 

But Alina Das, a professor of law and co-director of New York University’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, said that the city and state could be doing more to ensure that agencies – and the people working for those agencies – aren’t sharing information with ICE. Documented reported earlier this year that the state Division of Criminal Justice Services provides information about certain immigrants to ICE, though the agency has denied the practice. “Government officials should take a good hard look at their databases, at what DHS still has access to, and whether their law enforcement officers know how they're supposed to respond when they are asked to provide information for the purposes of immigration enforcement,” Das said. 

For the planned nationwide ICE raids starting on Sunday, public awareness campaigns and legal assistance are the primary weapons in New York’s arsenal. “One thing that the city and the state could do would be to proactively have Know Your Rights presentations for immigrants generally, and provide legal assistance for people who are picked up and put into deportation proceedings,” Yale-Loehr said.

Cuomo and de Blasio are on top of both those efforts, with spokespeople for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the New York state Department of State pointing to Know Your Rights fact sheets published in multiple languages, and various city and state-led legal assistance programs. New York’s Liberty Defense Project – a public-private partnership led by the state that assists immigrants in obtaining legal services – received a $10 million boost in the 2020 budget to expand. The project also runs a Rapid Response Program, specifically designed to better respond to unexpected or short-notice ICE enforcement actions. 

Some of those vulnerable in this weekend’s sweeps could begin the deportation process in a matter of hours, days or months, Das said, depending on how long it takes ICE to obtain travel documents for the individual and permission from the country to which they plan to deport the person. “The concern is, in a typical case, if somebody has been given a final deportation order without them being present in court, then it's ICE’s position that deportation can happen very quickly,” she said. “It makes it all the more important for people in these situations to have access to information and understand their rights before something takes place.”

NEXT STORY: Amazon tax breaks debate continues

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.