Morgenthau: Legislation is “Necessary and Logical Next Step”

New York, NY- Today, former Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced his support for the proposed bills introduced by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council to further limit the city’s cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“The City Council should be congratulated on setting a national precedent by tackling this serious issue. The City should not be in the business of helping the U.S. Department of Homeland Security detain and deport immigrants whose greatest crimes are minor misdemeanors or traffic violations. Current City law already prohibits law enforcement from honoring federal immigration detainers unless the target individual is either charged with or has been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor, or appears on a terror watchlist. However, a criminal charge is not the same thing as a conviction, and Homeland Security uses a broad definition of felony. These bills are the necessary and logical next step. By limiting the City’s enforcement of federal immigration detainers to convicted violent felons and threats to national security, these bills will safeguard our City and our country while also protecting the rights of immigrants who came to this country seeking a better life and the American dream.”
“I’m deeply honored to have the endorsement of a revered and renowned public servant and one of the most notable District Attorneys in this city. With his unwavering support, it will bring this legislation closer to the reality that many undocumented immigrants held at Rikers will be spared from being unnecessarily deported. We hope that this will set a new standard for other cities dealing with immigrants incarcerated for minor offenses.”