Illegal immigrant accused of assault shielded from ICE, freed 10 times by NYC’s sanctuary city policy

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Despite being arrested nearly a dozen times in New York City, a man illegally in the U.S. from the Dominican Republic was set free repeatedly and not turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The illegal immigrant has been arrested in New York City 10 times in the last two years and, thanks to state and city sanctuary policies, has been released back into the general public each time so he could go on and commit another crime. Jhonny Alejandro Soto-Ubaldo is currently in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and is expected to be handed over to ICE officials and deported.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged 10 immigration detainers during the past two years on an illegally present Dominican national after he was arrested on 10 separate occasions by the New York Police Department (NYPD). After each arrest, he was released into the community to reoffend with active immigration detainers in place,” ICE reported in a news release this week.

Despite an ICE detainer on Soto-Ubaldo after his first arrest in 2018, the NYPD released him without notifying federal officials. Less than two months later, he was arrested and released again even though another immigration detainer had been lodged. His multiple arrests and the NYPD’s refusal to cooperate with ICE led to the illegal immigrant being listed as “a public safety threat to the local community.”

(Image: ICE.gov screenshot)

“The following year, ICE lodged six additional detainers on the Soto-Ubaldo after his arrests for crimes between April and October 2019, and he was released each time, even though active immigration detainers were in place,” the news release said.

Detainers were again ignored after two arrests this year when he was taken into custody by NYPD in March for unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property. In May, Soto-Ubaldo was arrested for criminal mischief and assault. Both times in 2020, the ICE detainers were not honored when the illegal alien was released by the NYPD.

But federal agents may finally get their chance to arrest and deport Soto-Ubaldo as he was arrested on federal gun charges this month.

The Washington Times reported:

The FBI picked up Mr. Soto-Ubaldo this month after local police were again tracking him, saying they found his fingerprints on the door of a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee.

When detectives closed in, he ran, tossing a bag into a construction site as he fled, according to court documents. Police caught him, then recovered the bag and found a .380 caliber Bersa Thunder pistol with the serial number scratched off.

 

Soto-Ubaldo reportedly escaped from FBI custody for a short time as well when he jumped out of a moving vehicle en route to a federal detention center. After allegedly being chased off by a local resident, the 19-year-old citizen of the Dominican Republic was found hiding under sheets in someone’s apartment, The Times reported.

“ICE will take custody of Soto-Ubaldo following the resolution of firearms charges, which are pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York,” the ICE news release said.

Pending charges against Soto-Ubaldo in Queens, New York City, and Nassau County include those for criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of a firearm, assault, harassment, criminal mischief, grand larceny and petit larceny.

“What makes this case so frustrating is that local law enforcement failed to honor 10 detainers, despite Soto-Ubaldo’s lengthy criminal history,” Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations New York Field Office said in a statement.

“How can local politicians – in good conscience – say they’re protecting their constituents when they pass laws that release criminals back into our communities? Detainer non-cooperation threatens public safety. It’s fortunate for the residents of New York City, that the subject is now being held on federal charges, and the ICE detainer will finally be honored,” he said.

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, have resisted calls to enforce federal law and have instructed law enforcement not to honor ICE detainers. In addition, the state’s so-called “Green Light Law” allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses while blocking the US Department of Homeland Security from gaining access to the DMV databases.

Coupled with New York’s removal this year of cash bail for misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes, as well as budget cuts to the NYPD, crime rates have spiked in recent months. Between 2018 and 2019, nearly 3,000 criminal illegal aliens were released back into New York communities.

“Jhonny Alejandro Soto-Ubaldo is one of many examples of how New York’s sanctuary city policies place the safety of the residents at risk,” acting ICE director Tony Pham said in a statement. “Their willful uncooperative nature provides criminals such as Soto-Ubaldo the opportunity to re-offend.”

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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