Now that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio no longer has Preet Bharara to worry about he can get back to the important work of doing what he likes best. That would be opposing the Trump administration at every turn. This week he announced his latest initiative on that front, informing the public that New York City schools are being trained on how to “resist” Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. But as our colleagues at Townhall revealed, most of this so-called training is far more show than substance.
At a press conference in front of New York’s Tweed Courthouse on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out the city’s plans to resist U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in the Trump era.
There are “deep fears and concerns” among immigrant families after President Trump announced new ICE protocols that give agents more freedom to hold illegal immigration raids, the mayor noted…
De Blasio detailed a few ways the city plans to assuage parents’ fears and resist ICE. His office, he said, will be instructing school employees to understand what to do in which ICE agents appear at a school. The agents, he said, will be kept outside the school buildings and schools will not share information with them unless required by the law.
“They can’t blow by our security,” De Blasio added. “They have to follow our rules.”
The details of these training programs are thin to say the least, but their overall impact looks to be mostly negligible on the surface. First of all, ICE doesn’t spend much of its time prowling the halls of public schools looking for illegal immigrants. It’s not that we don’t have some students who are here illegally, but the fact is that their parents are generally the far bigger fish to fry. Mayor de Blasio himself admits that there have been no recorded incidents of immigration agents showing up in schools in the Big Apple.
Also, his comments about “denying entry” to ICE agents comes with a big caveat. They won’t be allowed in unless they have a warrant. As the kids these days are wont to say, well, duh. In the event that ICE was actually looking for a specific student they would obviously go and get a warrant in advance. And what does the mayor propose the school do if agents do show up with a warrant? They will be “monitored closely” while they are inside the building. Feel free to monitor away, buddy.
The rest of the initiatives under discussion mostly involve training for parents and families. These are described as efforts to make “immigrants” aware of their rights. The mayor once again falls back on the typical liberal rhetorical device of conflating the terms immigrants and illegal immigrants. If you are an immigrant who is in the country legally ICE has no interest in you. If you are here illegally, your “rights” in these situations are somewhat limited by the fact that you are a criminal and don’t belong in the country in the first place.
So do these policies actually change anything? Not in any substantial way. Mostly this looks like even more political bluster designed to polish Bill de Blasio’s progressive credentials as he prepares for his next election. If the mayor truly wanted to serve the families of the students, perhaps he could spend a bit more time worrying about whether or not the kids are getting a decent education in New York City’s public schools rather than fighting with federal law enforcement officials.