In the final weeks of the legislative session, progressive legal groups are calling for the passage of a bill that would end contracts between local governments and federal immigration enforcement officials to incarcerate immigrants.
The bill is part of the latest effort to block coordination between the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and New York law enforcement.
The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, a coalition that includes the Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services and The Bronx Defenders announced their backing of the bill, which is meant to reduce the power of ICE to separate immigrant families, supporters of the bill said.
The measure is taking aim at multiple local governments that have contracts with ICE for their jails in New York.
“ICE enforcement and detention is racist, inhumane, and a danger to us all," the group said in a statement. "It separates families, subjects people to the extensive trauma and harms of incarceration, deprives people of basic human needs and rights and has killed hundreds of people. Yet in New York State, numerous county and city jails are paid by ICE to incarcerate people solely because of where they were born."
The measure is sponsored by Assemblywoman Karines Reyes and Sen. Julia Salazar.
New York state lawmakers have previously approved measures meant to bar law enforcement coordination with ICE, including a measure that blocks the agency from making arrests in state courthouses without a warrant.