Jan. 31, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Members of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 75 undocumented immigrants across the five boroughs, Long Island and the Hudson Valley in the past week — including several living within Queens.
The agency announced the number of arrests while decrying New York City’s position as a sanctuary city. The NYPD does not turn over undocumented immigrants who have been arrested to ICE and the agency says this puts others in danger.
Of the 75 people arrested, 45 had been previously released from local law enforcement custody with an active detainer — or a request that the local agency detain an undocumented immigrant for additional time so that ICE agents can assume custody and potentially deport him or her.
ICE agents recently arrested individuals with active detainers in Astoria, Flushing, Forest Hills and Whitestone.
In Astoria, ICE arrested a 29-year-old Algerian national who was released from the Department of Corrections after being convicted of forcible touching.
In Flushing, ICE arrested a 52-year-old Colombian national who was released from NYPD custody and has a pending charge of rape and sexual abuse.
In Forest Hills, ICE arrested a 40-year-old Filipino national and former military service member, who was dishonorably discharged after being convicted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of the attempted sexual assault of a child, attempted abuse of a child, and attempted receipt of child pornography.
In Whitestone, ICE arrested a 50-year-old Chilean nation who was convicted for grand larceny and was sentenced to five years of probation supervision.
“More than half of those arrested in the last week were released on an active detainer pursuant to dangerous sanctuary city laws,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations New York. “Time and time again these policies have proven to put politics above the safety of city residents.”
Decker also attacked the state’s recent bail reforms which ended pretrial detention and cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.
“Between the reckless sanctuary city laws and the irresponsible Bail Reform Act, the lives and safety of the people of New York are in peril,” he said. “ICE ERO in New York continues to focus on criminal aliens, because the safety of the people in this city matters far more than popularity.”
ICE focuses enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to public safety and border security, however the agency no longer exempts categories of undocumented immigrants, such as those with no criminal records, from deportation.
Critics of ICE and the detainer system say it imprisons people without due process — as ICE issues detainers on people who have only been charged with a crime and it has even wrongly placed detainers on hundreds of U.S. citizens over the years.