NEW YORK – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Friday increased the pressure on New York City’s sanctuary policies. They published an eye-popping list of illegal immigrant fugitives who have been released into the city despite requests from ICE to take them into custody for deportation.
Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence presented the list to reporters at a press conference in New York where he spoke of the dangers in jurisdictions that ignore ICE detainers.
Detainers are requests from ICE to be informed of an illegal immigrant’s pending release from custody. The advantage is to transfer their custody in a safe environment and prevent the perpetrator from continuing to victimize the community.
While the Trump administration has been warning of the dangers of such sanctuary policies for months, it’s a fight that has been brought into the spotlight by the rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman. An illegal immigrant sought by ICE is accused of the heinous crimes.
Reeaz Khan, an illegal immigrant from Guyana, is accused of attacking Maria Fuertes as she walked home on Jan. 6. Fuertes was reportedly found at 2 a.m. in 32-degree weather and near death on a sidewalk with her clothes pulled above her waist. She was taken to a hospital, where she died from injuries that included a broken spine, according to The New York Post. The Post cited law enforcement sources who said she had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
“Make no mistake – it is this city’s sanctuary policies that are the sole reason this criminal was allowed to roam the streets freely and end an innocent woman’s life,” Albence said.
The list of fugitives put out by ICE includes suspected illegal immigrants from Nigeria, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guinea, Spain, and El Salvador. Those released have arrests for assault in the first, second and third degrees, attempted robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, gang assaults and other violent offenses, Fox News reported.
Furthermore, ICE issued a list of illegal immigrants currently in custody, who it says “may be released into New York communities” after they have served their sentences. Among the crimes for which those in custody have been charged include rape, murder and sexual assault against a child, according to the report.
- NEW YORK CITY SANCTUARY POLICY TAKING BIG HIT AFTER FREED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT ACCUSED OF MURDERING 92-YEAR-OLD WOMAN
Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to defend the city’s policies. He claims it makes the city safer.
“New York City has passed its own common-sense laws about immigration enforcement that have driven crime to record lows. There are 177 crimes under NYC law that trigger cooperation with federal authorities, if and when someone is convicted,” he said. “That policy has kept us safe.”
For the past 30 years, every single mayor of this city — even your boss’s lawyer — has backed this common-sense approach to working with the federal government to keep our city safe.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 16, 2020
But Albence rebuffed the mayor. He cited statistics saying that last year ICE lodged 7,526 detainers via its New York field office. Those individuals accounted for 17,873 criminal convictions and 6,500 criminal charges. He went on to say that those charges and convictions include over 200 homicides, over 500 robberies, over 1,000 sexual offenses, over 1,000 weapons offenses, and over 3,500 assaults.
However, only about 10 detainers were honored by the city, officials said.
“Those who politicize this issue want you to believe that you have to choose between being an immigrant-friendly city and one that cooperates with ICE,” Albence said. “Again that is simply false. The only immigrants protected by such policies are those committing violence and dangerous offenses, often in the same communities these politicians are purporting to protect.”