(The Center Square) — New York Republicans are calling for the deportation of a group of undocumented migrants who were released without bail after a brutal beating of two NYPD police officers in Times Square.
The officers were assaulted attempting to break up a disorderly crowd outside of a Midtown migrant shelter on Saturday night, video released by the NYPD shows. Five suspects were arrested but were later released without bail.
The Police Benevolent Association of New York City, the NYPD’s largest union, said it was outraged the suspects were released without bail.
“Attacks on police officers are becoming an epidemic, and the reason is a revolving door we’re seeing in cases like this one,” PBA President Patrick Hendry said in a statement. “It is impossible for police officers to deal effectively with crime and disorder if the justice system can’t or won’t protect us while we do that work.”
Staten Island Borough President Vito J. Fossella, a Republican, said the migrants responsible for the beating should be “deported immediately” and called the city’s response to the incident “madness.”
“What universe are we living in where migrants, who are living rent-free in our city, are allowed to brutally attack police officers and then are released without consequences,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Too often, we protect violent criminals and punish victims.”
Members of the state’s congressional delegation also weighed in on the beating and the release of the suspects.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican who represents Staten Island, echoed calls to deport the migrants during an immigration roundtable in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday with House Speaker Mike Johnson and law enforcement officials.
“We cannot accept in this country people who have paid the cartels thousands of dollars to be smuggled here, and they’re in our city committing crimes,” she said in remarks. “Why are they in New York? Well, because our Mayor decided to provide housing, education, legal services, laundry services, food – you name it. It’s incentivizing more people to come to New York City.”
Asked about whether the migrants should be deported, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul told reporters on Wednesday that it’s something that “should be looked at” by federal authorities.
“I think that’s actually something that should be looked at,” Hochul said, the New York Post reported. “I mean, if someone commits a crime against a police officer in the state of New York and they’re not here legally, it’s definitely worth checking into.”
Despite the uproar, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is defending his prosecution of the case and urging witnesses to come forward.
“Violence against police officers is never acceptable. It is paramount that we conclusively identified each defendant and specify each participant’s role in the incident,” Bragg said in a statement. “Every defendant charged so far is facing felony charges that carry a penalty of up to seven years.”