The New York City Council is preparing to vote on a bill limiting the extent to which the Department of Corrections hands over information on immigrants at Rikers Island to U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement. Due to the coordinated relationship, thousands of undocumented inmates with no prior arrests are often deported, according to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
The proposed law sponsored by Quinn would create a category of incidences in which undocumented inmates would not be deported through the network of information sharing. The bill, Intro 656, has the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 38 City Council members. Supporters of the bill say the deportations unnecessarily break up and destabilize families’ economic self-sufficiency when a family member is removed from the home.
The City Council held a hearing on the bill on Monday and is expected to vote on it by the end of the year.