Throughout the city, deportations increased 150 percent, deportations for people with no priors jumped 265 percent and ICE arrests were up 88 percent

Haitian vendor on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Photo credit: Garry Pierre-Pierre

By Naeisha Rose

New York City might call itself a sanctuary for immigrants, but that is not the case for many foreigners seeking refuge in the Big Apple, according to Comptroller Scott Stringer.

About 38 percent of decided immigration court cases involving Haitian residents end in an order of deportation, above the citywide rate of about 34 percent, according to Stringer’s office.

Last month, Stringer’s office released The Demographics of Detention, a report that examines the impact of immigration enforcement in New York City. His office found New York City — more than any other major city in the United States — experienced a surge of non-criminal deportations between 2016 to 2018. The city  was also third in arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field officers in the same time span. Miami and New Orleans were first and second place respectively in terms of ICE arrests.

“Let’s be clear: undocumented New Yorkers are part of the fabric of our city,” Stringer said. “But even in a sanctuary city like New York, the escalation of ICE raids, arrests, and intimidation is terrorizing the everyday life of our neighbors and forcing undocumented New Yorkers into the shadows.”

New York City has 27,546 Haitians who are non-citizens, according to Stringer’s report.

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs estimated that there approximately 5,400 Haitians were under Temporary Protected Status in New York City, according to Jan. 2018 report. This means that one out of every 17 Haitians are a TPS holder.

About, 2,100 U.S.-born children live in a household with TPS recipients, according to MOIA’s report.

In 2017, Haitian TPS recipients earned $91 million and they bring in a Gross City Product of $206 million for New York City annually.

About 77 percent of Haitian New Yorkers with pending immigration court cases have legal counsel, which is under the citywide rate of 82 percent, according to Stringer’s office. The majority of cases involving Haitian New Yorkers originate in Brooklyn, where 76 percent have legal representation.

There have been 499 orders of deportation for Haitians in Brooklyn from 2001 to 2018, according to Stringer’s office.

Brooklyn came second to Queens in terms of the share of court cases from 2016 to 2018 for immigrants, according to the report. There were 14,593 immigrant court cases in the “Borough of Homes.”

Queens had 162 orders of deportation for Haitians from 2001 to 2018, according to the comptroller’s office. The World’s Borough had 24,394 shares of overall cases involving immigrants from 2016 to 2018 in New York City.

In the 17-year span where there were orders of deportation for Haitians, Manhattan had 49, the Bronx had 14 and Staten Island had two, according to Stringer’s office.

“I represent and belong to a diverse community in Brooklyn,” said Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Brooklyn). “I’m very proud that my district is filled to the brim with varying perspectives and cultural nuances that can only be attributed to a large immigrant population. However, since the beginning of the Trump Administration, the number of seizures by ICE has only increased, causing these immigrants to fear for their well-being. The Comptroller understands this, and I support his initiative to ensure legal representative for undocumented immigrants in any situation.”

From 2016 to 2018, there were 7,030 immigrant court cases overall in the Bronx, 2,799 in Manhattan and 1,672 in Staten Island, according to the report.

Throughout the city, deportations increased 150 percent, deportations for people with no priors jumped 265 percent and ICE arrests were up 88 percent, according to Stringer.

“These statistics are harrowing and they’re a call to action because these just aren’t numbers – they’re sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, partners, neighbors, and friends,” said Stringer.

“That’s why I’m calling for the City to protect these New Yorkers and eliminate the carve-out that limits access to immigrant legal services because if we believe in due process for all people, we can’t be in the business of choosing who deserves a truly fair day in court. The State must also do more to ban ICE from courthouses outright – and the City should continue to support immigrant bond services.”

Naeisha Rose is a multimedia journalist and graduate of the Arts & Culture and Broadcast programs at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has experience working on independent short films, short documentaries, reality television shows, talk and web series as a Casting Associate, 1st AD and Production Assistant. She is a freelance writer with photography, voice over, social media, video production and video editing skills. She has worked as a General Assignment Reporter/Photojournalist for TimesLedger Newspapers, a Book Reviewer for Publishers Weekly and a Freelance Writer for LatinTrends Magazine.

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