While other states continue a disgraceful race to the bottom when it comes to their immigrants, Mayor Bloomberg has repeatedly supported progressive immigration reform and denounced unnecessary and cruel deportations. In this spirit, the mayor's office recently reversed positions on a law sponsored by councilmember Christine Quinn that will make it harder for federal authorities to deport illegal immigrants in custody at Rikers Island. "Our goal is always to protest public safety and maintain national security, while ensuring New York remains the most immigrant-friendly city in the nation," Bloomberg's chief policy advisor tells the Times.

If an inmate who is an illegal alien isn't charged by prosecutors, and doesn't have any priors, outstanding warrants or deportation orders, they will not be transferred to federal custody, where deportation is likely. Quinn believes that the measure would keep hundreds, and maybe as many as a 1,000 people from being deported each year. The bill's co-sponsor, Harlem councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito notes that it will save the city "possibly tens of millions of dollars" and would only concern "people who do not pose a rise to safety and security."