NEW YORK — NYPD officers will not be allowed to voluntarily cooperate with most federal immigration enforcement activities going forward following criticism over officers’ roles in arrests made during a recent protest.
Two city councilmen and 16 others were arrested during a rally after immigration rights activist Ravi Ragbir was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement during a scheduled check-in. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez accused the NYPD of putting him into a chokehold during his arrest.
The arrests spurred the new guidance, which was issued Wednesday. It says officers can only coordinate with ICE in limited circumstances, including where there is a public safety risk.
“We have been very clear that that our police officers and employees will not be a part of a federal deportation force,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “This new guidance reinforces that clear line.”
Officers were on hand when Ragbir was taken into custody. The NYPD is in the process of interviewing eight officers who were at the scene, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said during an unrelated press conference Tuesday. One member of the Strategic Response Group was transferred to patrol.
“The NYPD does not conduct civil immigration enforcement,” O’Neill said. “The NYPD does not seek individual’s immigration status.”