By ISRAEL SALAS-RODRIGUEZ
Several immigrant-led coalitions took to City Hall on Thursday to criticize Mayor Bill De Blasio and New York Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill’s broken window policing in minority neighborhoods, contending it would endanger undocumented immigrants in the current political climate.
The large crowd voiced their criticism towards the officials, accusing them of lacking concern towards neighborhoods with high police presence. The activists said that these neighborhoods are home to many undocumented immigrants who are fearful of being stopped by law enforcement.
“This is no sanctuary if you live in fear while walking down the street. Everyone is a victim by this policing,” said Karina Garcia.
On another progressive front, Education and Outreach coordinator Tania Mattos of UnLocal Inc. spoke on their efforts to convince Mayor De Blasio to ensure New York City becomes a complete sanctuary city, even to those immigrants with criminal records.
“He very purposely and very clear said that there are instances where they voluntarily give the immigrants information to ICE, (Immigration and Customs Enforcement),” said Mattos. The activists said that anyone who is arrested and fingerprinted was in danger of being tracked by ICE because of the relationship among law enforcement agencies.
“Right now there are 170 convictions that are on the list that they will willfully give to immigration and he’s talking about expanding that list,”added Matos. ” In Trump era it’s not the time to expand that list.”
The activists focused not only on undocumented persons but also for people who have a green card. “People in Mexico are scared to travel even if their residents,” said Mattos.
Claudia Palacios of ICE Free NYC described what her organization was doing to fight the problem. She said, “We’re building a network of sanctuary bases where if there’s an emergency and ICE comes to your door there’s a response that occurs.”