NEW YORK (AFP) - New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signed two laws Friday that cut the city's cooperation with US federal authorities on the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Blasting federal immigration enforcement as "overbroad", de Blasio said America's most populated city would now only cooperate with national authorities when there are concerns over public safety or when immigrants have committed "violent or serious" crimes.
"Mass deportation has not only pulled apart thousands of New York City families, it has also undermined public safety in our communities and imposed disproportionate penalties on immigrant parents and spouses who these families depend on for emotional and financial support," de Blasio said in a statement.
"Today, we send another message to Washington that the time to act has come to provide relief to so many individuals who contribute to our nation's growth."
The announcement comes at a crucial time for illegal immigrants currently in the United States, as President Barack Obama prepares to take measures to prevent the deportation of about five million of them, according to The New York Times.
In 2011, New York was one of the first US cities to limit its response to federal immigration and customs requests to detain individuals, reducing cooperation to about 60 to 65 per cent.
About 2,000 to 3,000 New Yorkers are held by the city each year for federal deportation proceedings, according to de Blasio's office.