As mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio has frequently shown a blatant disregard for U.S. immigration laws, but he may have taken it a step too far by illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on foot, according to The Associated Press.
In a June 25 letter from Aaron Hull, the chief patrol agent for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, to New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill, border agents witnessed a group of individuals on the Rio Grande River flood plain south of the Texas border entry point taking photographs of a detention center.
Unsure of how they’d arrived at their location, the Border Patrol approached them to inquire and a New York Police Department inspector simply “pointed to Mexico,” the AP reports.
“The agent informed the group that they had illegally crossed the United States/Mexico Border at a place other than a designated port of entry and that this was a violation of federal law,” the letter read.
The mayor’s spokesman denied any illegal crossing and then went on the counterattack.
“Any suggestion otherwise is a flat-out lie and an obvious attempt by someone to attack the Mayor because of his advocacy for families being ripped apart at the border by the Trump Administration,” said spokesman Eric Phillips.
The El Paso trip with about 40 other mayors was sold as an opportunity to visit a detention center, but officials rebuffed the mayors’ request for a tour – something de Blasio knew would happen.
“We fully expect to not be told the truth, we fully expect to be turned away the way senators and congressmen have been turned away just trying to get the honest truth about what’s happening to these children just as all of you have been doing,” de Blasio said at a press conference at the time.
In hindsight, the mayor might have been wiser to pass on politics stay home to address the welfare of New York City children, including those living in the approximately 130,000 apartments with toxic levels of lead paint.