As NYC celebrates Irish immigrants, Irish-American and NYC racial justice groups protest NYPD’s role in deporting immigrants of color


Despite “Sanctuary City”, groups charge that aggressive Broken Windows policing feeds immigrants to ICE – while NYPD avoids targeting white immigrants.

New York – Irish American and NYC racial justice groups protested today at the NYPD Emerald Society’s post-parade party. Protesters demanded that the NYPD stop helping federal ICE agents deport New York’s immigrants by aggressively making arrests for tiny, non-criminal infractionsGroups included Irish Queers, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Community Voices Heard, and SURJ NYC (Showing Up for Racial Justice).

“Broken Windows is a flawed policy that wrongly targets Blacks and Latinos. We call on this administration to end Broken Windows and make New York a true Sanctuary City,” said Claudia Perez, member-leader of Community Voices Heard.

As NYPD officers celebrated their Irish immigrant heritage, picketers carrying signs called them to stop victimizing current-day immigrants. NYPD union boss Ed Mullins (Seargent’s Benevolent Association) confirmed this month that NYPD officers personally want to “help ICE” by targeting immigrants for deportation, and that officers resent city policy that prevents them from performing immigration checks.

“Irish-American police officers shouldn’t forget from what and where they came.  People fleeing for a better life, fighting for their right to exist, and prevailing against tyranny is scratch-deep in their history. It’s the same struggle for immigrant and racial justice that we’re facing now,” said J.F. Mulligan of Irish Queers.

Protesters charged that, despite “Sanctuary City” rules, the NYPD is already driving the deportation of New Yorkers by arresting them for non-criminal Broken Windows offenses. New federal policy directs ICE to deport documented and undocumented immigrants who have been arrested, regardless of the outcome of the arrest.

NYPD arrests for low-level offenses overwhelmingly target communities of color. This biased policing makes immigrants of color particularly unsafe, while leaving white immigrants relatively untouched.

Our Irish-American families mostly came to the US under desperate circumstances and were treated poorly here,” said Jennifer Hadlockof SURJ NYC.I’m here to confront the hypocrisy of Irish-American police officers now enforcing the horrible treatment of people of color, including immigrants, through unnecessary arrests that lead to people being deported. It’s blatant white supremacy, we cannot let it go unchallenged.”

Broken Windows mandates arrests, not summonses, for littering, subwaysleeping, jaywalking, panhandling, unlicensed dogs, and other infractions.Thousands of such arrests are made weekly, but do not improve safety, according to a 2016 DOI report.

We protested the St. Patrick's parade for decades because the Irish community is not the bigoted, hyper-religious cabal the parade portrayed. Neither is the Irish community represented by the racist NYPD, despite the historic connections,” said Mulligan. “Irish resistance against racist authority is the best of our history.”

Date: March 17, 2017

Contact: (917) 517-3627, irishqueers@gmail.com