Jemal Countess / Getty Images, file
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, has said that police will not act as immigration agents, and said it is a longstanding police policy that officers do not make arrests or inform federal authorities based on immigration status alone.
Irish Queers is protesting Friday, Gelman said, because they are upset that some NYPD officers have spoken out in favor of Trump’s immigration policies and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforcement actions earlier this year.
In late February, NYPD Sergeant’s Union head Ed Mullins criticized the concept of sanctuary cities in opposition to a Police Commissioner letter instructing cops to avoid immigration enforcement,
“Make no mistake about it, the members of law enforcement in the NYPD want to cooperate with ICE. I speak to cops every day,” said Mullins, who called enforcing immigration laws “a moral obligation” for police officers.
Gelman said that cops with Irish roots, most of whom are marching this Friday, should remember that their ancestors came to the U.S. as immigrants fleeing violence and hunger.
“The movement to demand the safety of immigrants demands the safety of all immigrants,” Gelman said.
Gelman said Irish-Americans have “one foot in the world of policing and one foot in the world of immigrant rights.”
One Irish-born retired NYPD detective
interviewed for a 2015 Irish Central article confessed that he spent years in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant and recalled “approximately 50 people from Ireland in the police academy” when he joined the ranks in the 1980s.
That’s a large number for a relatively small immigrant population. According to the
U.S. Census Bureau, 125,022 Irish-born immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014.
Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers in 2014 estimated about 50,000 undocumented Irish nationals were living in the U.S. — meaning, if the numbers are correct, over a third of Irish-born U.S. residents were here illegally that year.
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