New York City officials are actively protecting illegal immigrants charged with a number of violent crimes, including rape and murder, by refusing to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency said.
In a press statement Friday, ICE highlighted a number of cases in the past few months alone that it felt demonstrate how the city’s sanctuary city policies aid violent illegal immigrants.
One such case involves an illegal immigrant from Mexico, 34-year old Adrian Moran-Torres, who was arrested by NYPD on Nov. 20 with charges of 2nd and 3rd-degree assault with the intent to cause physical harm and act in a manner to injure a child less than 17.
ICE, however, was unable to deport Moran-Torres due to the city’s sanctuary city policy. The sanctuary policy prevented the agency from receiving notification when Moran-Torres was released from custody.
Moran-Torres was caught illegally entering the country at the southern border in May 2001. He voluntarily returned to Mexico, but on an unknown date, he illegally re-entered the country.
ICE was, however, able to find him and arrest him on its own. He is currently in ICE custody pending removal proceedings
“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,” ICE wrote in a statement on Friday. ICE added that the city is putting “politics before public safety.”
The ICE press statement made note of another case involving Volodymyr Polovko, a 51-year-old citizen of Ukraine. Polovko was arrested Sept. 9 for 1st and 3rd-degree sexual abuse charges. The city released Polovko from custody without notifying ICE. Again, ICE was able to arrest him, and he is currently pending removal proceedings.
City officials who support sanctuary cities typically believe the policy will prevent ICE activity, but the opposite is true, according to ICE. It only increases ICE activity.
“Local jurisdictions that choose to not cooperate with ICE are likely to see an increase in ICE enforcement activity,” ICE stated, “as ICE the agency has no choice but to conduct more at-large arrest operations.”
“I don’t know what it will take for the representatives of New York City to see that keeping their sanctuary city policies are dangerous to the residents of this great city and, in some cases, deadly,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York. “Their policies continue to shield criminal aliens, allowing them to seek refuge in NYC communities and allows them to continue to break the laws of this country which threaten the lives and safety of its citizens. At some point, the lives and safety of the residents of NYC has to matter over the agendas of the politicians.”
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in a 2019 report detailed the extremes cities go through to protect and support illegal immigrants.
“Sanctuary cities are dangerous because they only benefit criminal aliens,” the nonprofit organization wrote.
“Many jurisdictions, often major cities, are now using taxpayer funds to actively support and assist illegal aliens living there,” CIS added. “Some of these cities provide free legal advice to illegal aliens fighting to stay in the country. Others provide discounted housing specifically for illegal aliens. Alarmingly, some dole out voting rights to their illegal residents. These are the super-sanctuaries.”
The CIS noted New York City’s government actively supports illegals by assisting them with enrolling them in public schools, instructing them on how to interact with ICE and promoting pro bono immigration lawyers.
Beyond the cases mentioned in the ICE statement, other high profile cases tied to New York City’s sanctuary policy have also emerged.
A 21-year old illegal immigrant from Guyana, Reeaz Khan was arrested on weapons and assault charges last year, according to the Washington Times. Despite these charges, the city denied a deportation request from ICE.
Khan then allegedly went on to rape and kill a 92-year old woman on Jan 6. in an incident that drew criticism from ICE acting director Matthew Albence.
Some Democrats have publicly called for ICE to be abolished in recent years. Despite public pressure, ICE said it remains committed to protecting American citizens.
“[We] will continue to do our sworn duty to seek out dangerous criminal aliens and other immigration violators,” the agency wrote.