New York City Council plans to propose two bills on Thursday that, if passed, would make the Big Apple one of the most immigrant-friendly cities in the nation, according to the New York Times.
The bills would create extra limits on the city’s cooperation with federal authorities who are seeking to detain and deport immigrants, and are a response to Secure Communities, a federal immigration-enforcement plan that has been met with controversy.
“What we don’t want is New York City’s agencies having to participate in deporting people who present no risk and in fact may be adding a great deal to the City of New York,” Christine Quinn, City Council speaker, said on Wednesday, according to the Times.
Secure Communities mandates that the fingerprints of everyone booked into a local or county jail are sent to the Department of Homeland Security and compared with prints in its files. If the person in custody is deemed “illegal,” then the police have a right to further detain them.
Federal officials say that the Secure Communities focuses on immigrants who have committed serious crimes, but critics say it is too broad, and could be used to tear apart families and erode trust between communities and police.
Under the new bills, according to the Times, the city would not honor a detainer on an immigrant unless the individual had a prior felony conviction, was facing a felony charge, was included in a federal gang database or a terrorist watch list, or had outstanding warrants.