Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 225 during a 6-day period, ending Apr. 14 in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley. More than half were indicted or convicted criminals, almost a third had been issued deportation orders and 60 had been released by New York law enforcement agencies despite ICE having issued detainment orders against them.
During the operation, ICE’s ERO arrested 225 individuals for violating U.S. immigration laws. Of those arrested, more than 180 were convicted criminals or had criminal charges pending, more than 80 had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed from the United States and returned illegally. Several had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.
“ICE continues to face significant obstacles with policies created by local officials which hinder cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement. Yet, with the tireless efforts of the men and women of ICE, this operation was a great success,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York. “The fact is that a so-called “sanctuary city” does not only provide refuge to those who are here against immigration law, but also provides protections for criminal aliens who prey on the people in their own communities by committing crimes at all levels. ICE is committed to enforcing the immigration laws set forth by Congress with integrity, despite the push-back and rhetoric within the city they serve.”
More than 60 individuals arrested during this operation were previously released from local law enforcement on an active detainer. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) places detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being deportable so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.
- In East Elmhurst, a 56-year-old Haitian national, who has convictions of Manslaughter 2nd Degree, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th degree, and sentenced to 4-12 years in prison;
- In Brentwood, a 35-year-old, Guatemalan national, previously removed from the U.S. on five separate occasions, who has convictions of DWI, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor vehicle, and Illegal Reentry after Removal;
- In Brooklyn, a 39-year-old Jamaican national, and registered sexual offender, who has convictions criminal Possession of a Loaded Firearm 3rd degree (2 counts), and Attempted Rape 1st degree. The victim, a child under the age of 13;
- In Manhattan, a 38-year-old Romanian national, and lifetime registered sexual offender, who has convictions of Possessing Sexual Performance by a Child, and sentenced to 10 years of probation supervision;
- In Manhattan, a 36-year-old Dominican national wanted in his home country for charges of Homicide, Administrative Corruption, and Accepting Bribes;
- In Brooklyn, a 39-year-old Ghanaian national, and registered sexual offender, who has convictions of Sexual Abuse 3rd degree and Attempted Forcible Touching in 2012 , and again of Sexual Abuse 3rd degree and Attempted Forcible Touching in 2017;
- In Brooklyn, a 31-year-old Mexican national, who has convictions of Rape 2nd (Intercourse with a person less than 15 years old), and Tampering with Witness;
- In Hempstead, a 40-year-old previously removed Salvadoran national, who has convictions of Assault, Burglary of a Vehicle, Attempted Forcible Touching, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Driving Without a License, DUI, Failure to Identify as a Fugitive from Justice, and Sexual Abuse;
- In the Bronx, a 58 year-old, twice removed Trinidadian national, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, who has convictions of Conspiracy to Produce Identification Documents, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Forgery, Fraud, Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, and Possession of Stolen Property, and False Statement on a U.S. Passport Application;
- In Jamaica, a 57-year-old Jamaican national, who has convictions of Sexual Abuse 1st degree: Contact w/ person Less than 14 Years Old;
- In Manhattan, a 38-year-old previously removed Dominican national, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, who has convictions of Attempted Criminal Possession of Weapon, Criminal Possession Controlled Substance, Identity Theft, and Grand Larceny, and Stalking;
- In the Bronx, a 33-year-old Dominican national, who has convictions of Criminal Possession of a Weapon – Loaded Firearm, Robbery 1st degree, Forcible Theft with a Deadly Weapon (2 counts), for which he was sentenced to 6 years in prison and 5 years of parole supervision;
- In Brooklyn, a 32-year-old Ecuadorian national, and registered sexual offender, who has convictions of Rape 2nd degree, who was sentenced to 4 years in prison victim, a child under the age of 13;
Criminal histories of those arrested during the operation are as follows: aggravated DWI, Assault 2nd, criminal trespass 2nd, driving while ability impaired, and driving while intoxicated.
The arrestees include nationals from Albania, Antigua, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kosovo, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tajikistan, Trinidad, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. ERO deportation officers made arrests throughout New York City, the Hudson Valley, and Long Island, specifically in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Nassau County, Westchester County, Orange County, Dutchess County, and Rockland County.
ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. However, ICE no longer exempts classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.
Some of the individuals arrested during this operation will face federal criminal prosecutions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after deportation. The arrestees who are not being federally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
In years past, most of these individuals would have been turned over to ICE by local authorities upon their release from jail based on ICE detainers. Now that many sanctuary cities, including New York City, do not honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat.
ICE has no choice but to continue to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at work sites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community.
Ultimately, efforts by local NYC politicians have shielded removable criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and created another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect.