ICE nabs illegal immigrant that NYPD set free despite charges of rape and sexual abuse of a child

An illegal immigrant who was released by the New York City Police Department despite charges of child rape and sexual abuse has been arrested by federal immigration authorities.

The 20-year-old Guatemalan national who was in the United States illegally was apprehended Monday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after an immigration detainer with the New York City Department of Corrections was ignored.

(Image: ICE.gov)

Miguel Federico Ajqui-Ajtzalam was initially released from custody thanks to New York City’s sanctuary policies.  Ajqui-Ajtzalam was arrested in New York City late last month on the sexual abuse charges, but was released without federal officials being notified, according to a press release from ICE.

“It’s inconceivable that an individual who was arrested for local charges of rape and sexual abuse of a child, would be released back into the community instead of being transferred to ICE who had a detainer in place,” Thomas R. Decker, field officer director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) said.

“It’s frightening that our detainer was ignored and he was released onto New York City streets to possibly re-offend,” Decker added. “The safety of city residents, especially the more vulnerable, continues to be a priority for ICE enforcement.”

According to the press release:

Miguel Federico Ajqui-Ajtzalam was arrested by the NYPD Feb. 27, on the charges of felony rape in the 2nd, sexual abuse in the 2nd for sexual contact with a person less than 14 yrs., and act in manner to injure a child less than 17 yrs. ERO officers assigned to ERO New York’s Criminal Alien Program lodged a detainer with the NYCDOC. As a result of New York City’s sanctuary policies, Ajqui-Ajtzalam was subsequently arraigned and released from the custody of the NYCDOC without the detainer being honored.

 

Ajqui-Ajtzalam illegally entered the U.S. without inspection and was encountered by U.S. Border Patrol in September 2016. He was processed as an unaccompanied alien child and was given a Notice to Appear, according to ICE.

Two months later, the Guatemalan national was released from ICE custody on an Order of Recognizance (OREC) pending removal proceedings. After his arrest this week, Ajqui-Ajtzalam is currently being held in ICE custody pending removal proceedings before a federal immigration judge.

According to ICE,  267,000 aliens were removed or returned in fiscal year 2019 and 143,000 aliens, more than 86 percent of whom had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, were arrested by ERO in the same time frame.

The agency noted again how so-called sanctuary policies like those in New York “put public safety at risk.”

“When law enforcement agencies don’t honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat,” the press release noted.

“Any local jurisdiction thinking that refusing to cooperate with ICE will result in a decrease in local immigration enforcement is mistaken,” it continued. “Local jurisdictions that choose to not cooperate with ICE are likely to see an increase in ICE enforcement activity, as ICE the agency has no choice but to conduct more at-large arrest operations.”

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Frieda Powers

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