Oct. 20, 2020 By Allie Griffin
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested 54 undocumented immigrants in the greater New York City area as part of a recent move to target sanctuary cities such as New York.
The 54 immigrants are among hundreds of undocumented people ICE officers arrested in sanctuary cities across the country in a weeklong crackdown ending Oct. 9, the department said.
Many of the individuals in New York nabbed by ICE had recently been arrested on charges such as assault, sexual assault against a child, rape, criminal possession of a loaded firearm, criminal possession of stolen property, driving while intoxicated, robbery and grand larceny, according to ICE.
More than 30 of the 54 individuals arrested by ICE in the greater New York area were released from local law enforcement custody, despite having active ICE detainers — which require detainees to be turned over to ICE custody, the department said.
Of all the individuals in the greater New York area arrested by ICE, only two in this latest crackdown didn’t have a criminal history in the U.S., according to ICE.
“Let us not gloss over the fact that the vast majority of the individuals arrested during this operation have criminal histories,” said Thomas R. Decker, ICE ERO New York field office director. “It’s frightening that New York City politicians created laws that force local law enforcement agencies to release dangerous criminals back into the community despite the seriousness of their crimes.”
The immigrants arrested are from China, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and St. Lucia, the department said.
The ICE officers made the arrests in New York City as well as the neighboring counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Dutchess, Ulster and Westchester.
The undocumented immigrants will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of their removal proceedings before an immigration judge.
ICE targeted New York for its position as a sanctuary city and the fact that it doesn’t honor ICE detainers that request local law enforcement agencies hand over undocumented immigrants they arrest to ICE custody.
ICE Senior Official Tony Pham suggested that non-compliance with ICE detainers will likely lead to increased ICE enforcement activity.
“ICE has no choice but to conduct more at-large, targeted enforcement actions [to] achieve its congressionally mandated mission,” Pham said.
“This means that the agency is likely to encounter other unlawfully present foreign nationals that wouldn’t have been encountered had we been allowed to take custody of a criminal target within the confines of a local jail.”