• Published: Feb. 05, 2024, 2:40 p.m.
Malliotakis presser Monday, Feb. 5, 2024
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, joined by (from left) Councilman Joseph Borelli, Councilwoman Vickie Paladino and Councilman Bob Holden, addresses the media calling on New York City and State to be more cooperative on deportation efforts Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. (Staten Island Advance/Paul Liotta)Paul Liotta

By Paul Liotta | pliotta@siadvance.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Some of New York City’s conservative politicians called on the city and state Monday to be more cooperative on deportation proceedings.

Led by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/South Brooklyn), the group gathered in Times Square near the site of a recent attack on NYPD officers that has been linked to the city’s ongoing migrant crisis.

“Last week’s attack was only one of about 1,000 different incidents in the city, but it got a lot of scrutiny and media attention because it was an attack on police officers,” she said. “This is completely unacceptable, and sadly, it’s not the first one that we’ve seen.”

According to information the NYPD released Tuesday, officers attempted to disperse a disorderly group in Manhattan’s Times Square Saturday, Jan. 27 around 10 p.m. when a physical altercation started with multiple individuals punching and kicking the officers when they tried to take a member of the group into custody.

Cops have arrested seven people in relation to the incident, and police have provided home addresses for some of those arrested that correspond with existing city migrant shelters.

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell identified some of the people connected to the incident as migrants, and lamented some of the alleged perpetrators’ release without bail, according to reporting from NBC 4. Four of the individuals have reportedly fled the city on buses bound for the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Some of them live in the migrant shelter, they appear to be migrants, obviously. I don’t know when they got here. Some of them already have lengthy police records,” Chell said. “These individuals who were arrested [or] will be arrested should be indicted, they should be sitting in Rikers awaiting their day in front of the judge. Plain and simple.”

Councilman Joseph Borelli (R-South Shore), Councilman David Carr (R-Mid-Island), Councilman Bob Holden (D-Queens), Councilwoman Vickie Paladino (R-Queens), and Kenneth Genalo, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director for the New York City field office, joined Malliotakis in her push for more deportation cooperation.

Sanctuary city policies have been in place in the five boroughs since the late 1980s with a series of laws at the city and state level strengthening those policies over the years, but Genalo said Monday that a pair of laws passed during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration have made ICE officers’ jobs even harder.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the way that we have to do our intelligence in ICE is the same way that you find out about cases. It’s through the media,” he said. “We’re no longer contacted. We’re no longer called.”

More than 170,000 people have made their way to the five boroughs since spring 2022, and tens of thousands still remain in the city’s care at homeless shelters around the five boroughs.

Mayor Eric Adams said Monday that while he believes most of those people have come to the U.S. seeking a better life, those who commit crimes should be held accountable.

“Any New Yorker that thinks they’re going to commit a crime in this city, that is not acceptable,” he said. “The role of the federal government, if a person is found guilty of a crime, is to deport and I think deport after they served their sentence for the crime that they committed.”

The mayor pointed to an existing city law that limits local cooperation with the federal government, but contended that ICE remained free to take actions of its own on deportation matters.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has also voiced support for removing the alleged attackers involved in the Jan. 27 assault on NYPD officer.

“Get them all and send them back,” she said during an unrelated press conference Thursday. “You don’t touch our police officers. You don’t touch anybody.”