New York Daily News: New York City’s broken windows policing helps Trump deport immigrants, pol says
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017

Tina Luongo – Chief Defender of the Criminal Practice at The Legal Aid Society – joined Council Member Rory Lancman and other defender organizations yesterday at City Hall calling on Mayor de Blasio to end broken windows policing which places immigrant communities at increased risk of detention and deportation.




NY Daily News
New York City’s broken windows policing helps Trump deport immigrants, pol says
By Erin Durkin
February 21, 2017

The city should stop making arrests for minor offenses like fare beating to avoid setting more people up for deportation, a city lawmaker and legal aid groups said Tuesday.

Under President Trump’s new hardline immigration policies, an undocumented immigrant becomes a priority for deportation if charged with any criminal offense. And people who get arrested have their fingerprints sent to the feds.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents have even been waiting outside Manhattan misdemeanor arraignment courts in recent days to nab people after their court appearances, according to New York County Defender Services.

Councilman Rory Lancman said Mayor de Blasio has the power to tell cops to avoid arrests, and instead give out civil summonses, for many quality of life offenses.

“The reality is Bill de Blasio’s broken windows policing is the fuel for Donald Trump’s deportation machine,” said Lancman (D-Queens).

He singled out fare evasion, where offenders may be given a civil summons for breaking MTA regulations that is handled through the Transit Adjudication Bureau, but may also be arrested for a misdemeanor. Last year about 30,000 alleged fare beaters were arrested, compared to 70,000 who got the civil summons.

The pol called it hypocritical for de Blasio to rail against Trump without making the change.

“You’ll have to ask the mayor why he is unwilling to use the authority that he has as mayor to make real the words that he’s saying on CNN, MSNBC, and at rallies with the Statue of Liberty in the backdrop,” he said.

Stan German, executive director of New York County Defender Services, said his attorneys saw ICE agents waiting at court for individuals being processed on misdemeanor charges on Saturday and again Tuesday morning. They took one person into custody and at least one other client walked out of court without appearing out of fear they would be arrested and deported, he said.

“What can I tell our clients? Is it safe for them to come to court to deal with a misdemeanor charge that they may be innocent of and won’t result in any conviction?” he said. “Or am I to tell them if you come here, ICE could be waiting in the audience and they’re going to lock you up as soon as you leave?”

The City Council passed a package of legislation last year that would substitute civil penalties for criminal enforcement for public drinking and urination, littering, breaking parks rules, and unreasonable noise in most cases. But the bills left the NYPD with discretion on when to use which punishment, and guidelines due in June have not yet been issued.

The legislation did not cover fare beating because it is a state offense.

“Mayor de Blasio has already led a dramatic shift away from low-level arrests to offenses that can be more effectively dealt with through summonses,” said his spokesman Austin Finan.

“Only repeat offenders and those with outstanding warrants are subject to arrest for fare evasion. The remedy to a broken immigration policy is not to undermine an effective policing strategy that has helped make New York City the safest big city in the nation.”

Turnstile jumpers only get arrested if they have three unpaid transit summonses, are seen committing another crime in addition to fare beating, or have an open arrest warrant, he said, adding that most quality of life enforcement is in response to 311 and 911 complaints.

On the other side, some said even moving entirely to civil summonses would not go far enough. Tina Luongo, attorney-in-charge of the criminal practice at the Legal Aid Society, said someone caught urinating on the street or jumping a turnstile should not be stopped by cops at all.

“There are ways in which you can work with community models that actually don’t require police at all to get involved in that level of quality of life control,” she said.

And a handful of members of the Coalition to End Broken Windows crashed the press conference to read a statement bashing Lancman’s push. “Pivoting to civil summonses, which will still be administered by police officers, will normalize the punishment of poor people for quality of life offenses as an acceptable solution,” they said.