At a press conference in front of New York’s Tweed Courthouse on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out the city’s plans to resist U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in the Trump era.
There are “deep fears and concerns” among immigrant families after President Trump announced new ICE protocols that give agents more freedom to hold illegal immigration raids, the mayor noted.
“Parents don’t know what the policies will mean for their children,” he said.
That’s where the sanctuary city is planning to step in.
“We think it’s crucial to fight for all New Yorkers and to help immigrant New Yorkers to know their rights,” De Blasio said. “This is your city. Your city will stand by you.”
De Blasio detailed a few ways the city plans to assuage parents’ fears and resist ICE. His office, he said, will be instructing school employees to understand what to do in which ICE agents appear at a school. The agents, he said, will be kept outside the school buildings and schools will not share information with them unless required by the law.
“They can’t blow by our security,” De Blasio added. “They have to follow our rules.”
If agents do obtain a warrant, they will be permitted to enter the school, but they will be closely monitored by school security.
“ICE agents will not be wandering the halls of a school,” the mayor promised.
In addition to blocking ICE from entering schools, De Blasio said programs like Make the Road NY will be held in schools in order to prepare parents as Trump’s immigration policies go into effect.
The city will also facilitate workshops for parents to get questions answered about their rights in general and how they can get help. They have planned over 100 Know Your Rights workshops in boroughs throughout the city which will inform families where they can seek legal assistance, and free immigration services if they are facing the threat of deportation.
The policies coming out of Washington “violate our values,” De Blasio insisted.
Asked by the press, the mayor admitted that no ICE agent has yet attempted to enter a New York school.
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito echoed the mayor’s sentiments, noting that “fear and hate is plaguing our communities.”
ICE can’t come in schools without a warrant signed by a judge, she emphasized. She fully intends to make sure that schools remain “safe spaces” for children.
Meanwhile, De Blasio has suggested it is okay to shield illegal immigrant drunk drivers from ICE as well.