By Adam Shaw
Published January 29, 2019
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Tuesday that it arrested 118 illegal immigrants in New York in a five-day raid this month, more than 107 of whom were convicted criminals or had pending charges against them -- and the agency slammed local politicians for protecting them and endangering the public.
“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," ICE said in a statement on Tuesday. "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.”
The agency, which has faced calls for its abolition from left-wing activists and a number of 2020 Democratic Party hopefuls, announced that 55 had either been issued a deportation order but weren't deported, or had previously been removed and returned illegally. The statement said that several had prior convictions for offenses such as child sex crimes, weapons charges and assault.
“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,” the release said.
It gave a number of examples of those arrested, including a 44-year-old Ecuadorian national arrested in Brooklyn who had previously been convicted of attempted sexual abuse of two girls under the age of 8. Also in Brooklyn, a 30-year-old Guatemalan, previously deported, was nabbed with prior convictions of harassment and "public lewdness." The statement also gave the example of a 23-year-old Dominican, who had previously been released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, who had a pending rape charge against a child under the age of 17.
ICE has been aggressively defending itself against charges from activists that it targets otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants, and regularly issues updates noting the crimes of those who it arrests and seeks to deport.
In Tuesday's statement, the agency spelled out the criminal histories of those arrested. Those crimes are: “acting in manner injure child, aggravated DWI, aggravated harassment, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, assault, assault and battery, attempted assault, attempted criminal contempt, attempted criminal possession of marijuana, attempted criminal possession of a weapon, criminal trespass, attempted gang assault, attempted menacing, attempted sexual abuse, attempted tampering with physical evidence, battery on officer firefighter EMT, burglary 2nd: illegal entry-dwelling, burglary 3rd: illegal entry-intent to commit a crime, counterfeiting currency, course of sexual conduct-1st degree, criminal contempt, criminal facilitation, criminal mischief, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a loaded firearm, criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale of marijuana, criminal trespass 3rd, destruction of property, disorderly conduct, driving while ability impaired, DWI, endangering the welfare of a child, failure to identify, family violence assault, forcible touching, forgery, grand larceny, harassment, illegal entry into the United States, illegal reentry after removal, inflict corporal injury-spouse, larceny, menacing, menacing with a weapon, obstruct police, possession of burglary tools, possession of a forged instrument, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, public lewdness, resisting arrest, rape 2nd degree, rape 3rd degree, resisting officer, robbery, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, stalking, trademark counterfeiting, trafficking in cocaine, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and unlawful possession of marijuana.”
Thomas Decker, field office director for ERO New York, praised ICE officers, and said their work was done despite “obstacles” placed in their way by local politicians.
"In spite of the significant obstacles that ICE faces due to the dangerous policies created by local jurisdictions, which hinders the cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement, ICE will continue to devote the full efforts of our agency to protecting citizens and enforcing federal immigration law despite challenges being pursued by politically motivated individuals.”
Both New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have criticized ICE. After a raid last year, Cuomo said he was sending a cease-and-desist letter to ICE, and he threatened to sue the agency if such raids continued.
"The reckless and unconstitutional practices ICE is deploying in our communities violate everything we believe in New York and are an assault on our democracy," Cuomo said.
President Trump has been a full-throated defender of the agency. In July, he hailed its usefulness in fighting the violent gang MS-13 and said agents are “tougher and smarter” than criminals in the country.
“Dems do not appreciate the great job they do!” he tweeted.