City Hall, NY – On Wednesday, November 14, the Black, Latino/a, and Asian Caucus voted to support Intro. 1092, introduced by BLAC member and City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, to prohibit the City of New York from entering into revenue contracts with entities that are engaged in immigration enforcement. The legislation would also invalidate any existing contracts once it goes into effect.
“We cannot claim to be a sanctuary for all New Yorkers while profiting from those who are engaged in immigration enforcement,” said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “While our existing laws already prohibit the use of City resources in furtherance of federal immigration enforcement, nothing prevents City agencies from selling their goods and services to entities engaged in such activity. It’s a loophole that creates an obvious conflict of interest which this bill will eliminate.”
Recognizing the need to protect immigrants from the arbitrary, capricious, and inhumane nature of immigration enforcement, the City Council passed a law in 2017 prohibiting City agencies from partnering with entities who enforce immigration law and prohibited the use of City resources, property, and information obtained on behalf of the City in furtherance of federal immigration enforcement.
Yet despite these clear prohibitions on the City’s cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, the City has still managed to profit from contracts with entities like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which could pay the NYPD up to $139,080 for the use of a firing range at 1 Police Plaza.
Intro. 1092 would remove this profit-motivated loophole by prohibiting City agencies from offering any of their goods or services for a fee or other consideration in a contract with immigration enforcement authorities.
“Profiting from an agency with a reputation for abusing its authority in enforcing our antiquated immigration laws, especially under the xenophobic Administration in Washington, undercuts New York City’s claim to be a sanctuary for its undocumented,” said Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus co-chair Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “There can be no exception to our covenant to defend our immigrant communities and prevent them from being uprooted. I applaud Council Member Menchaca for his recognition of this discrepancy, and proudly support his bill affirming our refusal to monetize the persecution of our City’s immigrants.”
“As a sanctuary City, all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, should feel protected by their government and not fearful of deportation or losing their benefits or homes. Immigrants are the backbone of our city and our nation. The City of New York will not tolerate unlawful searches, detainments and attacks on our immigrant community,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino & Asian Caucus. I’m proud of the Black, Latino, & Asian Caucus for endorsing legislation to restrict all revenue contracts with Immigration Enforcement entities. We will continue to stand against bigotry and united as one New York.”
In addition to closing a possible legal loophole, Intro. 1092 will reassure immigrant New Yorkers that City agencies are not incentivized to cooperate with immigration enforcement authorities on the basis of revenue potential. This reassurance is absolutely critical given that City agencies are reporting declines in domestic violence and abuse calls from Latino residents, declines in patient populations for health clinics serving immigrant New Yorkers, and overall drops in the use of various public benefits, especially when the Trump Administration has threatened to deny green cards or other legal status to immigrants who use certain benefits.
About the Black, Latino/a, Asian Caucus
The City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian (BLA) Caucus consist of 26 of the 51 Members of the City Council. The Caucus convenes to make sure that issues of particular concern to the City’s Black, Latino, and Asian communities are being addressed through the legislative, oversight, and budgetary powers of the City Council. The Chairs of the Caucus are Council Members I. Daneek Miller and Ydanis Rodriguez. The Caucus is managed by Executive Director Corey Ortega.