New York City Police Union Urges Officers to Help ICE Agents, Defying Sanctuary City Policies

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
July 15, 2019USshare
New York City Police Union Urges Officers to Help ICE Agents, Defying Sanctuary City Policies
Police officers at the Church of St. Rosalie, in Hampton Bays, NY, on Feb. 20, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sergeants Benevolent Association for the police department of New York City asked police sergeants to support I.C.E. (ICE) raids on illegal immigrants.

The association issued a letter, posted to the association’s Twitter page, urging sergeants to show unity with ICE agents.

“As you are aware, today and throughout the remainder of this weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents (I.C.E.) will be apprehending individuals who are criminally wanted for crimes committed under the United States Code of Laws,” the association’s president Ed Mullins wrote.

That’s in stark contrast to what some politicians are saying in defiance to the ICE raids. The Sergeants Benevolent Association asks police officers to be clear on what their job asks them to do.

“We, the members of law enforcement, do not write these laws, nor do we engage in the politics and or opinions of the laws under the United States Code, New York State Penal Law or City Code. Our job is to simply enforce all laws equally upon all individuals so that each person receives equal justice under the law,” Mullins continues in the letter.

In the midst of even the mayor of New York City trying to oppose the raids, the association asks officers not to neglect federal agents who may need their help.

“I, therefore, remind you of our sworn oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State of New York. I further encourage you to NOT leave any I.C.E. Agent abandoned if in need of assistance and to stand shoulder to shoulder with each agent so that they too can return home safely to their families,” Mullins adds.

Mullins hopes that NYPD members will not be dragged into the politics of the day. He provides safeguards in case politicians try to stress divisions between the role of federal officers and those at the city level.

“They are members of law enforcement just like you, and we must never participate in the politics being applied upon our duty to uphold the law.”

Towards the end of the letter, Mullins offers a way that officers can stay out of the political battle taking place regarding immigration.

“Should you encounter any resistance from this Department or the City of New York while assisting an I.C.E Agent in need of HELP, please call the SBA 24hr number immediately 212-226-2180.”

The letter seems to offer aid to those on the police force who could potentially be used politically by New York City’s mayor. The mayor has already pledged to defy ICE actions to enforce immigration law.

The association’s letter also aims to counter the NYPD policy, which has been to avoid immigration issues, according to the Daily News. The NYPD has said they will not help with ICE raids, as well.

The NYPD already sent out a memo to all staff not to aid in ICE raids, according to the Daily News. The memo tells officers to alert their superiors along with the NYPD legal department if they see an ICE raid occurring.

“This cruel policy isn’t about safety. It’s about fear. It’s about racism. It’s a stain on our country—and we’ll fight it every step of the way,” tweeted NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, in defiance of the ICE raids.

The mayor also posted a hotline number and a website offering advice to those stopped by ICE. The motives of providing the resources seem aimed to break with the Trump administration’s stance.

A statement on the mayor’s website by Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, makes this clear.

“The Trump Administration’s threats of immigration enforcement have many families worried. The de Blasio administration wants to ensure all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, know that they have rights and protections under the law. If you are worried about what the President’s actions could mean for you and your loved ones—particularly if you have ever been in deportation proceedings, have received an order from immigration court, or have concerns about your immigration status—call the ActionNYC hotline at 1-800-354-0365 to receive free and safe immigration legal help.”

De Blasio has not yet responded to the Sergeants Benevolent Association letter.

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