New York City Hands Out “Get Out of Jail Free Cards” to Illegal Aliens

This Thanksgiving illegal aliens who have been arrested by the New York City Police Department truly had reason to be thankful. Under Ordinance 656, approved overwhelmingly by the City Council and signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Nov. 22, the city will no longer honor most requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain illegal aliens in police custody. Unless the alien meets certain narrow criteria, such as having a past criminal conviction or is on a terrorist watch list, the city will refuse to turn aliens over to ICE, or even notify ICE of their release. Even aliens who have criminal records as juveniles will be allowed back on the streets so long as they can make bail.

While other jurisdictions have complained about the additional costs of detaining deportable aliens for the federal government, New York City does not even make the pretense that Ordinance 656 is about money. In celebrating the signing of the ordinance, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn made it clear that the purpose of the policy is to shield illegal aliens and expressed her hope that the ordinance “will serve as a national model for other states and cities to consider.”

Indeed, any state or city that puts the protection of illegal aliens ahead of the protection of public safety, can save the time and effort of writing their own ordinance. Thanks, New York.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    With respect to what Chase said above, Alabama is being sued by the Obama Administration. They argue that Alabama does not have the authority to promulgate federal legislation with respect to immigration. Immigration, they say, is a federal issue. But when New York City promulgates immigration laws in favor of illegal immigrants, the Justice Department, or the Obama Administration, rests.

  2. avatar

    The idiot Mayor wants to provide cheap labor for his friends in NY City. The JO should be arrested himself and he should not arrest anyone else in NY. You can’t selectively enforce laws.

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      You know, it’s not that they take jobs. Mostly they don’t . They come here to live off the Welfare State we have become. With more than thirty three million illegals here, they run up quite a bill.

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    What part of illegal” does the Mayor and city council not get? We have U.S. laws that are suppose to preside over illegal invaders. How can a city pass a law that supersedes OUR national laws? These illegals are taking OUR jobs because businesses want cheap labor; they are flooding the market with their drugs; bringing in diseases hereto wiped our here in America; using up OUR tax dollars to pay for schooling, health care, welfare, and other social services; and trampling on our traditions and flag with aclarity. Enforce a NATIONAL E-verify and National picture ID voter registration card. Ship them home when they come up on law enforcement radar screens.This is a huge problem for America and WE must take a strong stand against the war on OUR soverign border and the invasion of illegals.

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      They contribute to it, but china is the biggest killer of this country / jobs thats even a bigger issue

  4. avatar

    Ok, so Alabama is getting sued by the Justice Dept (feds) for enforcing the law against illegal immigrants, but New York can let them out of jail and allow them to stay and remain illegal and break our laws. Is this “Illegal in Wonderland”?

  5. avatar

    So in this instance it is okay for the State of New York to supercede Federal laws. The people of the State of New York and citizens of the USA (not the so called naturalized immigrants who are only here for the benefits) have to let our Senators and Congressmen know that WE THE PEOPLE do not want illegals in this country. WE THE PEOPLE do not want to continue to foot the bill for illegals. Send them back to whatever country they came from and stay there.

  6. avatar

    Why don’t citizens of all of these sanctuary city’s file charges against the mayors?This is discrimination against Americans.Can an American break a law & be set free without a trial?Just a suggestion,think about,it!Consider it!!

  7. avatar

    This Mayor is crazy and getting money from he Busiensses in town who hire these people. People like this mayor ar traitors to this country and the people should put him out for turining criminals back into the community. But, most of all Congress should pass a law that says anyone city in any State that does not turn over the illegals to ICE will not get any federal funding of any kind. Our tax dollars should not be going to states that do not enforce our laws.
    We have a Lily Livered Congress and no one wants to enforce our laws when it comes to illegals but are quick to enforce them on legal citizens.

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    Youth sought in Mexico killings arrested

    Edgar Jimenez Lugo, who authorities said was born in San Diego, was wanted on suspicion of killing rivals — allegedly beheading some — as part of his work for a violent drug-trafficking cartel.
    December 03, 2010|By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times

    Reporting from Mexico City — A 14-year-old boy who says he’s been killing or working for drug cartels since he was 11 has been captured by the Mexican army after a monthlong hunt, authorities said Friday.

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      Man is Texas with a Texas drivers license and job at construction company and been deported 2-3 times for DUI kills a police officer ont he highway who is investigating an accident. Texas is suppose to have no license for illegals, Texas does not use E-Verify and gives in state tuition to illegals. Sound like some people in Texas wants these illegals to stay and vote Democratic and take and take from our country. I am afraid that people out there would do sell out our country for a Latino vote.

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        you are so right but we cannot give up, we must continue to pray and fight. This is what they want us to do. We must continue to let this people that we will not allow them to continue their evil works! Don’t give up the fight.

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          A crime is a crime what about teh maerican citizen who went o Islamabad left his office to transact a shady business and shot two pakistanis to death? if he were lega l or illegal and he want to commit a crime hoe would no ting short of that