Jan, 29, 2019 By Christian Murray
Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) announced today that it arrested 118 undocumented immigrants in New York in a five-day raid this month, including many residents from Queens.
ICE said that the arrests were made between Jan 14 and 18 in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley.
The agency said that 107 of the individuals arrested were convicted criminals or had pending charges. ICE listed some of the felons including a Corona resident who had been convicted of forcible touching; a Kew Gardens man who is a registered sex offender; and a Flushing resident who had been convicted for grand larceny and other charges.
ICE said that 55 of the 118 individuals arrested had either been issued a deportation order but had not left the country, or had previously been removed and returned illegally.
The agency has come under harsh criticism in New York in recent times, with many politicians—most notably Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez–calling for ICE to be abolished. Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been harsh critics of these types of raids.
Politicians have also criticized ICE for targeting undocumented immigrants as they attempt to go to or leave court.
But ICE slammed New York City and other jurisdictions since 35 of the individuals arrested had been released by local law enforcement—despite ICE placing a hold on them. It said that these municipalities were putting the public at risk.
“In years past, most of these individuals would have been turned over to ICE by local authorities upon release from jail based on ICE detainers,” the agency said. “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 public safety threat.”
ICE said that when criminals are released onto the street the agency has to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and work sites. The agency said that efforts by local politicians to shield such individuals create a magnet for more illegal immigration.