Early Wednesday morning, the New York Daily News and others reported that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio crossed the southern U.S. border with Mexico illegally, violating both U.S. and Mexican immigration laws, when he and his security detail crossed the border on foot during a visit near El Paso, Texas.
The accusation came in a June 25 letter from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection obtained by The Associated Press.
“The mayor’s office flatly denied the allegation,” the Daily News said.
According to the report:
De Blasio went to a holding facility for immigrant children but was denied entry. He then went to Mexico and crossed into the U.S. to get a view of the facility. The New York Police Department runs de Blasio’s security detail.
According to the letter, a uniformed Border Patrol agent noticed a group on the Rio Grande River flood plain south of the Tornillo, Texas, Port of Entry, taking photos of the holding facility. The agent asked if anyone from Border Patrol or public affairs was there to authorize their presence. A New York Police Department inspector said no, according to the letter, and when the agent asked the group how they arrived, they pointed to Mexico.
The agent told them they’d crossed the border illegally and asked them to remain there while he got a supervisor and took them to an official crossing for an inspection per federal law, according to the letter. But the group disregarded the order and drove back to Mexico, according to the letter.
But de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said they did nothing illegal and had approval to be there.
“The mayor crossed the border with the direct approval and under the supervision of the border patrol supervisor at this port of entry,” Phillips told the AP in an email. “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.”
A Border Protection spokesman had no comment.
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