ICE Adopts New Approach to Intransigent Sanctuary Jurisdictions



With New York City politicians showing they care more about protecting the feelings of special interests than the interests of public safety, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have decided to have adopt a new strategy. Last Friday, the agency subpoenaed the New York City Department of Corrections (NYDOC) for information about four criminal aliens who had been in their custody, including the illegal alien arrested for the rape and murder of 92-year-old Maria Fuertes.

While rarely used in the past, agency officials argue a different approach is necessary because cities are “more dangerous” as a consequence of sanctuary jurisdictions not honoring detainer requests.

“This is not a request — it’s a demand. This is a last resort for us. Dangerous criminals are being released every single day in New York,” Henry Lucero, acting Deputy Executive Associate Director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) told The Associated Press.

After years of obstinate resistance to allowing federal authorities to remove criminal aliens from the community, the frustration and impatience expressed by Lucero is understandable. For example, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sued the Trump administration in 2018 over a policy to withhold certain law enforcement grants from sanctuary jurisdictions and that same year, he issued citywide rules codifying those recklessly dangerous policies.

The mayor’s fealty to the falsehood that ICE is a threat and his insistence that that sanctuary policy does not endanger New Yorkers may have been the last straw.

Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence countered on Twitter that his agency “issues detainers and make arrests based on probable cause. The exact same standard that the #NYPD—and every other law enforcement agency must adhere to—when they make arrests for the crimes they’re sworn to enforce.”

The decision by Albence to hold a press conference last Friday to convey to the public that the individuals bring protected by the de Blasio administration are not nuisance criminals but real threats reflects an effort to counter the inaccurate portrait of ICE agents as brutish bogeyman arresting innocents.

The agency is putting out the facts missing from the mainstream media by spotlighting the criminals released onto the streets in sanctuary cities across the country. In the last month, they have criticized officials in Cook County, Illinois who have released over 1,000 criminal aliens and immigration violators during the 2019 fiscal year. The sheriff’s office in Franklin County, Ohio also drew attention for releasing 29 criminal illegal aliens just since November.

The law enforcement agents are on the front lines every day and they witness in human terms the impact every day. But the days of allowing politicians to get away with figurative murder are over.

“It is past time to put aside all the political rhetoric and listen to the facts – and the fact is, people are being hurt and victimized every day because of jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with ICE,” says Albence.

About Author

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Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

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