New York City Deportations Soar Under Trump Immigration Crackdown

(Bloomberg) -- Deportations of New York City’s undocumented immigrants have soared, especially among individuals with no criminal record, since the beginning of President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a report Thursday by city Comptroller Scott Stringer.

In those two years, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency increased its annual deportations 150 percent to 2,593 from 1,037, Stringer said. The largest jump, among people with no criminal convictions, went to 1,144 from 313 -- a 265 percent increase. The jump in non-criminal deportations was the largest percentage of any U.S. city among 24 with the largest immigrant populations, according to the report.

New York City Deportations Soar Under Trump Immigration Crackdown

The actions threaten to disrupt life in a city where officials say many of the estimated 400,000 undocumented immigrants are in crucial jobs such as caretakers for children, the aged and the infirm. For decades, New York has considered itself “a sanctuary city,” meaning that undocumented immigrants can use many services without risk of being identified to immigration authorities.

“Let’s be clear: undocumented New Yorkers are part of the fabric of our city,” said Stringer, who has said he’s interested in running for mayor in 2021. “Even in a sanctuary city like New York, the escalation of ICE raids, arrests, and intimidation is terrorizing the everyday life of our neighbors and forcing undocumented New Yorkers into the shadows.”

ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow declined to comment on Stringer’s report. The agency focuses enforcement on individuals posing a threat to national security, public safety and border security. Its officers act lawfully, pursuing anyone residing in the U.S. illegally, “despite any criticism or political rhetoric,” she said.

“ICE no longer exempts classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” Yong Yow said in an email. “All of those in violation of immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”

Stringer said the city should provide free legal services for immigrants facing deportation, and remove any rules that continue to restrict their access to other city services.

Chinese immigrants make up the largest nationality of city immigrants undergoing immigration court proceedings, with more than 10,000 cases, or 21 percent, started since 2016, according to the report. Immigrants from India comprise about 10 percent, Guatemala and Ecuador each accounting for about 7 percent.

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