Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued a list of nine ‘fugitive’ illegal immigrants they say have been ‘released in New York communities’ as part of the controversial city sanctuary policy.
The federal authority also named six more who may also be freed, whose charges include murder and child rape, despite their deportation requests.
Henry Lucero, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said: ‘Dangerous criminals are being released every single day in New York.’
It comes after acting ICE director, Matthew Albence, told a news conference in Manhattan on Friday that city leaders had blood on their hands after the death of 92-year-old Queens woman Maria Fuertas.
ICE officials said the city had released the woman’s alleged attacker, Reeaz Khan, 21, on earlier assault charges rather than turn him over for deportation. Khan was charged with murder January 10 and remains in custody.
‘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, adding: ‘It’s unbelievable that I have to come here and plead with the city of New York to cooperate with us to help keep this city safe.’
Sanctuary cities limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. They do not honor deportation ‘detainers’ or provide any details about defendants going in and out of local custody.
Albence said ICE filed 7,526 detainers in New York City for convictions including more than 200, murders, 500 robberies, over 1,000 sexual offenses. He said 10 were honored.
He added: ‘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.
‘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.’
Some of those included on the ‘released’ list are Nigerian Mina Thankgod Ibulubo, who was arrested over an assault, Mexican Juan Estrada-Barajas for an attempted robbery and El Salvadoran Jose Lopez Calderon for third degree assault.
Khan is one of six mentioned on ICE’s ‘In Custody’ list, released on Friday. He is also part of four ‘immigration subpoenas’ issued to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation.
Others on the ‘In Custody’ list include Mexicans Jesus Rodriguez and Alberto Hernandez Najera. Rodriguez is charged with first degree rape; Najera with sexually assaulting a child under 13.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration said Saturday the city would review the subpoenas. He said on Twitter this week that the city has passed ‘common-sense laws about immigration enforcement that have driven crime to record lows.’
‘New York City will not change the policies that have made us the safest big city in America,’ spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said in an email.
‘We are the safest big city in America because of our policies, not in spite of them,’ he added.
Goldstein said in an email Saturday that ‘the Trump administration’s attempt to exploit this tragedy are absolutely shameful.’
De Blasio has accused ICE of employing ‘scare tactics’ and spreading lies. He said on Twitter this week that the city has passed ‘common-sense laws about immigration enforcement that have driven crime to record lows.’
The development comes days after ICE sent similar subpoenas to the city of Denver, a move that reflected the agency’s mounting frustration with jurisdictions that do not honor deportation ‘detainers’ or provide any details about defendants going in and out of local custody.
The subpoenas sent to New York seek information about four inmates – including a man wanted for homicide in El Salvador – who were recently released despite immigration officials requesting the city turn them over for deportation.
New York City police say they didn’t receive a detainer request for Khan, though ICE insists it was sent. Either way, the city would not have turned him over under the terms of New York’s local ordinance governing how police work with immigration officials.
City officials in Denver said they would not comply with the requests, saying the subpoenas could be ‘viewed as an effort to intimidate officers into help enforcing civil immigration law.’
‘The documents appear to be a request for information related to alleged violations of civil immigration law,’ Chad Sublet, Senior Counsel to the Department of Safety in Denver, wrote in a letter to ICE officials.
But Lucero, ICE’s acting deputy executive associate director for enforcement and removal operations, said the agency may consult with federal prosecutors to obtain a court order compelling the city’s compliance.
‘A judge can hold them in contempt,’ he said.
Meanwhile, ICE is considering expanding its use of immigration subpoenas in other sanctuary jurisdictions.
‘Like any law enforcement agency, we are used to modifying our tactics as criminals shift their strategies,’ Lucero said in a statement. ‘But it’s disheartening that we must change our practices and jump through so many hoops with partners who are restricted by sanctuary laws passed by politicians with a dangerous agenda.’
There was no immediate response when DailyMail.com called ICE for additional comment on Monday.