A six-day ICE operation in New York has led to the arrest of 225 illegal immigrants in the state, many of whom were convicted criminals.
“Operation Keep Safe” ended on Apr. 14 in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations arrested the more than 200 who came from several different countries, according to a news release published Tuesday.
More than 180 of those arrested were convicted criminals or had criminal charges pending, according to ICE officials.
“More than 80 had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed from the United States and returned illegally,” the press release stated. “Several had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.”
One 56-year-old Haitian national with a manslaughter conviction was arrested in East Elmhurst while several registered sex offenders and others with convictions for raping or sexually abusing minors were also taken into custody. One of the people arrested was a 36-year-old man living in Manhattan who was wanted in the Dominican Republic on murder charges.
Any of the detainees who have outstanding orders of deportation will be immediately deported to their home country, while some of those arrested will be facing federal criminal prosecution for illegal entry into the U.S. or illegal re-entry after initially being deported. Any detainees not being federally prosecuted will be processed administratively to be removed from the U.S.
New York politicians have worked to create policies and initiatives to push sanctuary status in the state, hindering efforts by immigration officials to do their jobs and protect citizens. In 2017, New York City police ignored more than 1,500 requests to detain undocumented immigrants for up to 48 hours, according to a top New York City police official.
Federal immigration officials applauded the success of “Operation Keep Safe” but blasted local politicians for protecting “criminal aliens who prey on the people.”
“ICE continues to face significant obstacles with policies created by local officials which hinder cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement. Yet, with the tireless efforts of the men and women of ICE, this operation was a great success,” Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York, said.
“The fact is that a so-called ‘sanctuary city’ does not only provide refuge to those who are here against immigration law, but also provides protections for criminal aliens who prey on the people in their own communities by committing crimes at all levels. ICE is committed to enforcing the immigration laws set forth by Congress with integrity, despite the push-back and rhetoric within the city they serve,” he added.
ICE officials noted that more than 60 of those arrested were previously released from local law enforcement on an active detainer. In previous years, individuals like this would have been turned over to ICE by local authorities when they were released from jail.
“ICE has no choice but to continue to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community,” the press release stated. “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.”