New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Denies He Crossed the Mexico Border Illegally During Visit to Detention Center

After being denied access New York mayor Bill De Blasio looks through a chain linked fence outside of the children's tent encampment built to deal with the Trump administrations "zero tolerance" policy in Tornillo, Texas, on June 21, 2018. Mike Blake/Reuters

During his recent visit to El Paso, Texas to speak out against the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio may have crossed the southern border illegally.

According to a letter written by the Customs and Border Protection agency, which was obtained by The Associated Press, a uniformed border patrol agent saw a group of people just south of the entry port in Tornillo, Texas. The group allegedly included de Blasio and members of the New York Police Department.

The agent then claims that when they approached the group and asked if they were authorized to be in the area, a New York Police Department inspector had said no. Then when the agent told them that they had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally and told them to stay put until a supervisor arrived, the group dismissed the order and drove back to Mexico, according to the letter.

Mayor de Blasio visited the border on June 21 and the letter written by border patrol was sent to the New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill on June 25.

De Blasio's office denies these allegations.

Eric Phillips, a spokesperson for the mayor, told Newsweek in an email statement that the mayor "crossed the border with the direct approval and under the supervision of the border patrol supervisor" at that specific port of entry.

Any claim of illegality or wrongdoing on de Blasio's part is a "flat out lie" and that this letter is 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," Phillips added.

The spokesperson also said that the mayor had crossed the border to get a better glimpse of the tent city housing the immigrant children, which can only be seen from inside Mexico. Prior to crossing the border, the group had tried to see the facility from U.S. soil but were denied.

De Blasio has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and the White House's handling of immigration policy and family separations. He has joined a list of Democratic leaders calling for the abolishment of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency, which has been responsible for forcibly separating children from their parents when they cross the border illegally.

ICE is creating fear and division in my city, @VP. That makes us less safe. It’s time for an immigration agency that is fair and humane — not one that rips families apart. #AbolishICE

— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 6, 2018

New York City has taken in over 300 separated immigrant children at three different nonprofit organizations in the Bronx and Harlem. In an appearance on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show, de Blasio said that these children are suffering psychologically and physically from the immigration policy.

"It's happening right here, in our name, with our taxpayer dollars, and we got to stop it right away and if the federal government won't answer it, I really do think it's up to all of us, city by city to find any solution we can to reunify these families," de Blasio told Maddow.