New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that it is “distressing” that non-criminal illegal immigrants are being arrested.
Being in the country illegally is considered a civil offense. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Wednesday they had arrested 41,318 illegal immigrants in the opening months of the Trump administration — 10,800 of whom were non-criminals.
In New York City, ICE arrested 156 non-criminal illegal immigrants, more than double the amount for the same period last year. De Blasio said in a radio interview with WNYC that “it’s very distressing, Brian, to hear that ICE is picking up people who are law abiding and contributing to the community.”
“That’s only going to undermine the relationship between our immigrants and our police and our government in general,” the mayor said. “That’s not going to make anyone safe.”
Washington and New York City have feuded since Trump took power over the president’s immigration policy. The Department of Justice claimed in April that New York City is “soft on crime,” and de Blasio told Attorney General Jeff Sessions to say that to a police officer’s face.