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.
The actions occurred in a city that estimates it has more than 400,000 undocumented immigrants, many of them providing essential services in jobs such as caretakers for children, the aged, and people in ill-health, city officials have said. For decades, New York has considered itself “a sanctuary city,” meaning that undocumented immigrants have access to many city services without risk that they will be identified to immigration authorities. Now city officials have found themselves at odds with Trump’s anti-immigration policies.
“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.”
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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