The Danger of Sanctuary Policies Demonstrated in a Single Incident



On Thursday morning, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents attempted to take custody of a twice-deported illegal alien at his home in Brooklyn, New York. What could have been a routine arrest went awry after theillegal alien resisted and another man was shot in the hand and face while trying to obstruct the arrest of the Mexican national.

The ensuing melee, in which two ICE officers also were injured, was avoidable. Earlier this week, Gaspar Avendano-Hernandez was in NYPD custody having been charged with possessing a forged Connecticut license plate, which ABC 7 reported is a felony.

“However the subject was released from local custody before ICE could lodge a detainer. This forced ICE officers to locate him on the streets of New York rather than in the safe confines of a jail,” said ICE spokeswoman Rachel Yong Yow.

The avoidable and frenetic series of events makes an extraordinarily good argument as to why sanctuary cities are dangerous for law enforcement and innocents alike.

When ICE agents came to the home of Avendano-Hernandez, they arrived with a proper arrest warrant. It was then that the illegal alien, who has a 2011 assault conviction, resisted arrest and Erik Diaz, the 26-year-old son of Avendano-Hernandez’s live-in girlfriend intervened. 

Several outlets, including the New York Post, reported Diaz was shot because he allegedly grabbed for an agent’s gun during the scuffle and it subsequently discharged. While the specifics of the incident remain under investigation, anti-enforcement activists did not hesitate to throw fire onto an already-incendiary situation in New York City by riling up others with blatant falsehoods.

Less than two hours after the initial engagement occurred, radicals were taking to Twitter urging others to go to the hospital where Diaz was taken for treatment for his non-life threatening wounds.

The shooting adds to already-heated tensions between New York City and the Trump administration over Gotham’s increasingly obstructive posture toward immigration enforcement. Just this week, the Trump administration barred New Yorkers from the “trusted traveler” program after the city blocked federal law enforcement from accessing police and DMV records.

Considering ICE agents function in a confrontational environment on a good day, activists throwing fuel on a combustible situation is irresponsible at the very least.

Justice League NYC, a self-described “multi-disciplinary task force of juvenile and criminal justice experts,” added to the chaos by tweeting out an “URGENT!” alert filled with inaccuracies and inflammatory rhetoric.

The illegal alien was “wrongfully detained and then shot in the face by ICE agents,” they alleged, adding that at the hospital “ICE agents are trying to deport his brother — trying to disappear a witness!” 

The New Sanctuary Coalition acted no better, inciting their followers with a tweet that “we need people” at the hospital “to stop @ICEgov from deporting the brother of the man they shot in the face so he doesn’t talk.”

They also did some fundraising to support their obstruction of justice.

Relying on rumor and incomplete facts is expected from anti-law enforcement protesters, but should not be the norm for members of Congress. But that is the new normal.

About 8:00 p.m., some 12 hours after ICE attempted to arrest the illegal alien, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) tweeted out a letter demanding a briefing about “this unfortunate incident further erodes trust in the agency’s mission and its responsibilities.”

Rather than spend time drafting and releasing a letter, perhaps the members of Congress could have simply called ICE or DHS to determine the facts surrounding the matter. But finding the truth is not part of their agenda or of the activists who remain at the hospital spreading lies making it likely that another dangerous incident will occur in the future.

About Author

avatar

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.

Comments are closed.

FAIR blogs can now be found on our main site at https://www.fairus.org/blog