Header Image Mobile Header Image


12/1/2017 | Building an Immigrant Justice Initiative

Sanctuary City Policy Wins in New York City

On October 31, 2017, the New York City Council passed Intro 1568-2017, establishing that no New York City resources can be used for federal immigration enforcement purposes. While New York City already had one of the strongest sanctuary laws in the country, immigrant-led groups like CPD's partner Make the Road New York (MRNY) have continuously pushed to limit local cooperation with the federal government’s mass deportation agenda to the maximum extent possible. The new legislation makes it illegal for the NYPD, or any city agency, to engage in, or assist federal authorities with, immigration enforcement.

Last March CPD, in partnership with Local Progress, hosted a convening in New York City for local elected officials working to expand sanctuary policies across the country. At that convening, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito previewed New York City's plans to go even further to limit cooperation with ICE, and issued a call to other elected officials to stand in solidarity with immigrant communities. Since then, dozens of municipalities have taken additional steps to enact local laws and policies that will protect their immigrant residents from rampant immigration enforcement. CPD's sanctuary cities toolkit: "Protecting Immigrant Communities: Municipal Policy to Confront Mass Deportation and Criminalization," has helped to inform many of these efforts. The passage of Intro 1568-2017 is an especially important victory for New York City's immigrant communities because it comes at a times when cities that try to protect their immigrant residents are under attack by the Trump administration, which has threatened to deny funding to sanctuary cities, and to ramp up enforcement efforts in any city that refuses to facilitate unjust deportations.

Thanks to the relentless organizing by groups like MRNY, and to the courage of our local policy-makers, New York City continues to stand up to the Trump administration’s tactics of hatred and intimidation. With this new law in place, New Yorkers can feel comfortable accessing city services and interacting with local government officials without fear. It also ensures that no city agency, including the NYPD, can misuse city tax dollars to assist in the federal government’s mass deportation efforts.