Speaker Adrienne Adams says NYC Council has ‘no plans’ to modify city’s sanctuary status

NEW YORK — Council Speaker Adrienne Adams rejected calls Thursday for her chamber to tweak New York City’s sanctuary status, saying she has “no plans” to do so while accusing voices on the political right of recently mischaracterizing the practical implications of the decades-old immigration rule.

The rule, which bars the city from using municipal government resources to help federal authorities carry out most forms of immigration enforcement, made headlines after police said two NYPD officers were assaulted in Times Square by a group of migrants last month.

After the suspects were set free without bail, local Republicans pounced, blaming the sanctuary status law for their releases. Adding to the debate, Mayor Adams said earlier this week he “would love to entertain” allowing more cooperation with the feds on immigration enforcement, though he argued any such move would likely need to be cleared by the City Council, as it would involve altering local law.

At a press conference at City Hall on Thursday afternoon, Speaker Adams poured cold water on the possibility of the Council tweaking the sanctuary law.

“We have no plans to do that,” she said.

Noting that the city’s sanctuary edict was first established by Mayor Ed Koch in 1989, the speaker also charged it makes no sense for focus to be placed on that law in the context of the Times Square attack.

“Some have pointed to this repugnant and unfortunate incident as a reason to revisit policies advanced by Democratic and Republican mayors, from Koch to Dinkins to Giuliani to Bloomberg and beyond, who recognized that keeping city agencies and workers from being used for federal immigration enforcement is in the best interest of public safety,” she said. “In reality, these bipartisan city policies have no connection to this incident … This was purely an issue of our local law enforcement solving and prosecuting an alleged crime.”

Since the Times Square assault, some stakeholders in the city have highlighted crimes committed by migrants. At a press conference Tuesday announcing the bust of an alleged robbery ring involving migrants, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said “a wave of migrant crime has washed over the city.”

In Thursday’s press conference, the speaker, who has clashed with the mayor and his administration on a number of fronts lately, blasted the police commissioner’s comments as misleading.

“Continuing the fervor and the fear-mongering around a supposed crime wave, which just is not true, I think is damaging,” she said. “Particularly right now.”