U.S. Customs and Border Protection has alleged New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) illegally crossed the United States' border with Mexico.
CPD alleges de Blasio's illegal crossing occurred when he went to the border on June 21, the day after President Donald Trump signed an order stopping the separation of families that illegally enter the United States, the Associated Press reports. Aaron Hull, the chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, relayed the events in a letter he sent on June 25 to New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill.
According to the letter, de Blasio and his security detail– comprised of New York Police Department officers–were taking photos of a holding facility for immigrant children while on a Rio Grande flood plain. They were south of the Tornillo, Texas, Port of Entry.
A Border Patrol agent saw the group and asked them if they had anyone from Border Patrol or public affairs there to authorize their presence, and according to the letter, a New York Police Department inspector indicated they did not. When the agent asked how the group arrived there, CBP said the New York inspector pointed to Mexico.
The agent then asked the group to remain in place while he contacted a supervisor and took them to an official crossing for an inspection per federal law, according to the letter. However, CBP alleges de Blasio's group left and went back into Mexico.
De Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips responded to the accusations by denying the Mayor illegally crossed the border.
"The mayor crossed the border with the direct approval and under the supervision of the border patrol supervisor at this port of entry," Phillips said. "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."
De Blasio has been a frequent and vocal critic of the Trump administration, including the administration's immigration policies. He was visiting the Texas border with about 20 other mayors from around the U.S. who said the president had failed to properly address the situation at the border.