Police have a responsibility to enforce the law — whether it’s state, local or federal.
That was the assessment of former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik during his Sunday morning appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.”
Clip via Fox News Channel
Kerik responded to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to protect immigrants who have arrived in the U.S. illegally, turning the Big Apple into a so-called “sanctuary city.”
He agreed with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ statement that sanctuary cities are soft on crime.
“The attorney general has a really good point,” he told “Friends” co-host Clayton Morris. “You cannot not enforce federal law.”
The mayor offered New York’s reduction in crime as proof that the city isn’t soft on crime, but Kerik countered that crime reduction has been a lengthy process, going back long before de Blasio’s short two-year tenure.
“These crime reductions go back to [former Mayors] Rudy Giulian and [Michael] Bloomberg, me [and other former police commissioners] Ray Kelly [and] Bill Bratton initially,” he said.
However, “You cannot say, ‘I’m going to let illegals be in New York City and I’m not going to enforce federal law,'” Kerik argued.
“That’s soft on crime,” he concluded.
De Blasio wrote a New York Daily News op-ed on the 22nd in which he bragged that 2016 saw the city’s fewest number of serious crimes “in history.”
“He’s taking a victory lap for the successes of the NYPD,” Kerik said, adding that instead of crime statistics, the focus should be on the mayor’s policies.
Because of those policies, “Gangs have taken over Rikers [Island city jail facility],” he told Morris. “There’s an 18 percent increase in gang violence on Rikers Island and inmate-on-inmate violence.”
Kerik said that nothing good can come of a city proclaiming itself a sanctuary for illegal immigrants.
“You have people … in these sanctuary cities who don’t belong here,” he argued. “They’re here illegally, they’re committing acts of violence and you have a mayor who says we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re not going to cooperate with the feds.”
Kerik believed that the federal government had the right to go beyond merely withholding federal funds.
“Personally, I’m surprised they don’t lock people like this up — the mayor and people like this. You cannot violate federal law. You take an oath of office to enforce the federal law,” he said. “You can’t say, ‘except for that law.'”
Tensions have mounted between the mayor and the NYPD from the day de Blasio took office.
In the most recent example, NYPD officers have been alerting Immigration and Customs Enforcement of upcoming trial dates of illegal immigrants.
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