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NYPD officers Christopher Abreu and Richard Yarusso leaving Elmhurst Hospital after getting shot.

POLITICS: Migrant criminal’s shooting of two NYPD cops shows why NYC shouldn’t be a ‘sanctuary city’

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The senseless shooting of two NYPD officers on Monday, allegedly by Bernardo Castro Mata, a 19-year-old Venezuelan migrant, is an egregious reminder of the consequences of our current sanctuary city policies.

It is the kind of incident I have been warning about for years.

Our city is witnessing gangs of illegal migrants living in shelters on our dime, getting free services, and then turning around and committing crimes, often using illegal scooters.

On Thursday, my colleagues in the New York City Council’s Common Sense Caucus and I will introduce legislation to repeal the laws that made New York a sanctuary city.

We can no longer afford to import criminals, nor can we continue to protect them from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

It is time to stand up and take decisive action. We must deport those who have no right to be here, especially those who come here to commit crimes or are wanted back in their home countries.

New York seems to have forgotten the history behind the creation of ICE and why it was formed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 9/11.


NYPD officers Christopher Abreu and Richard Yarusso leaving Elmhurst Hospital after getting shot. Robert Mecea

Early reports suggest Castro Mata may be part of the scooter theft gangs that have been terrorizing our city, robbing and assaulting residents.

Ken Genalo, the field director for ICE’s New York City office, has been vocal for months about the detrimental impact of city policies that prevent local authorities from cooperating with his staff.

The Caucus has met with him, and we heard firsthand the horror stories of criminals who have detainers issued against them but are shielded by the laws preventing the NYPD, Department of Corrections, and Probations from honoring those detainers.

This cannot continue. We owe it to our residents, and our cops to put an end to this madness.

Officer Christopher Abreu, 26, took a bullet to the leg, while his partner, Richard Yarusso, also 26, was struck in the front of his bulletproof vest.

Fortunately, both will recover, but it could have been much worse.

It could have ended like Laken Riley, who was brutally beaten, molested and strangled to death while jogging allegedly by Jose Ibarra, an illegal migrant who had been arrested twice, including in New York, but was released.

Or 2-year-old Jeremy Poou-Caceres from Maryland who was murdered in February by Nilson Granados-Trejo. Twice arrested, ICE issued detainers both times, but Montgomery County refused to honor them.

These are not isolated incidents but part of a dangerous pattern. Our elected leaders must wake up to the reality on the ground.

The religious experiment of sanctuary city is not just unsustainable — it is dangerous.

We must put the safety of our citizens first, control our borders and enforce our laws.

Those who are here illegally and engage in criminal activities, must be deported without hesitation.

We’re committed to making New York safe again.

We will push for legislation that ensures cooperation with ICE, ends sanctuary city policies, and prioritizes the safety of our residents.

Council Member Robert Holden (D) represents District 30 in Queens.



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