From the NY Times:
In a significant reversal, the Bloomberg administration said Friday that it would support a City Council bill that would hamper federal authorities’ ability to detain, and eventually deport, foreign-born inmates on Rikers Island who are about to be released.
The decision is an important victory for the Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, the sponsor of the bill, which is now almost certain to become law, and for immigrant advocates, who have long assailed the city’s cooperation with immigration agents based at the prison.
Corrections Department officials routinely share lists of foreign-born inmates with immigration authorities, who then take custody of, detain and deport thousands of people who had been charged with misdemeanors and felonies. The arrangement is common across the country.
The bill would not end the practice, known as the criminal detainer program, in New York City. But it would prevent corrections officials from transferring inmates to federal custody, even immigrants in the United States illegally, if prosecutors declined to press charges against them, and if they had no convictions or outstanding warrants, had not previously been ordered deported and did not show up on the terrorist watch list.
As a result, the immigrants would be released if they were not defendants in criminal cases, regardless of whether federal officials wanted them deported.
Congratulations, you are now free to stay and potentially cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Please make yourself at home.