By Jillian Jorgensen
Mayor de Blasio denied illegally crossing the border between the United States and Mexico last month -- ripping U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for the "absolutely ridiculous allegations" he said were designed to distract from President Trump's policies and intimidate his critics.
The Border Patrol, in a letter to the NYPD, wrote that de Blasio and his security detail had illegally entered Mexico during a trip to the southern border in June, when de Blasio and other mayors were viewing a camp for migrant children in the town of Tornillo, Texas, and went into Mexico to get another view of it.
"At no point did we disregard any instructions from federal authorities, period," de Blasio. "So why suddenly weeks later is this letter showing up from the federal government? Well, it is another attempt to distract from an inhumane policy. You can tell when our federal government is doing something that is hurting people, they don't want that to be the focus of attention."
The letter was first reported by the Associated Press. The NYPD confirmed it had received it.
"The NYPD received a letter from CBP," an NYPD spokesman said. "The Police Commissioner has reviewed the letter, and there is no further action being taken at this time by the NYPD on this matter."
The mayor said he and his fellow mayors had sought entry to the camp in Tornillo but had denied. So they viewed the camp from outside, and wanted to get a different angle of it -- from Mexico.
So his NYPD security detail spoke to border agents, de Blasio said, and those agents agreed to let the group's cars "cross the American border into Mexico at "a normal checkpoint."
"While we were there we were told where the border line was and we respected it," de Blasio said. "We came back the exact same way, both times showed passports, went through with the approval of the agents at the entry point."
De Blasio said he would not let Border Patrol's letter stop him from saying the city "won't stand for" the president's immigration policies.
"I wont accept any effort to intimidated. I will not sit idly by as the President rips children from their families, and I will not let him continue his efforts to destroy the lives of these young people," he said. "Threats from the Trump Administration won't stop me from speaking out and they won't stop my fellow mayors from speaking out."
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