Citing Homicide, Top Trump Official Condemns N.Y. Sanctuary Policy


The Trump administration took renewed intention at New York Metropolis’s so-called sanctuary insurance policies on Friday after the latest arrest of an undocumented Guyanese man on fees that he raped and murdered a 92-year-old girl in Queens.

Matthew T. Albence, the performing director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, accused town of permitting the accused killer of the girl, Maria Fuertes, to stroll free months in the past when he ought to have been held for doable deportation.

“A cellphone name, one easy cellphone name, and Ms. Fuertes could be alive immediately,” Mr. Albence mentioned at a information convention on the ICE area workplace in Decrease Manhattan.

His sharp rebuke got here concurrently the girl’s household additionally criticized the authorities. Talking at his mom’s funeral on Thursday, considered one of Ms. Fuertes’s sons, Hugo Fuertes, mentioned, “I blame town as a lot as immigration as a result of they haven’t finished an enough job.”

He added, drawing applause, “He was a legal and they didn’t take note of this. They left him within the streets and he continued to do his misdeeds — due to that my mom is useless.”

He mentioned, in a later interview, that native regulation enforcement and federal immigration authorities had tossed the accountability between themselves “like sizzling potato.”

The Jan. 6 rape and homicide of Ms. Fuertes has develop into a flash level within the broader debate over immigration and so-called sanctuary cities, the place officers have resisted deputizing regulation enforcement to assist federal immigration authorities detain and deport undocumented immigrants. Mr. Albence’s go to to New York got here on the heels of an announcement from his company this week condemning town’s sanctuary insurance policies.

Reeaz Khan of Richmond Park, Queens, had been arrested in November and accused of beating his father in an altercation. ICE officers mentioned that on the time the company had requested the New York Police Division to carry Mr. Khan beneath what is known as a detainer request.

A detainer asks native regulation enforcement authorities to carry undocumented immigrants who’ve been charged or convicted of crimes for 48 hours after their launch in order that immigration brokers can decide them up for doable deportation.

New York’s detainer regulation and coverage mandates that officers flip over to ICE solely those that are convicted of violent and severe offenses, and solely when ICE has met authorized and due course of necessities.

Mr. Khan, 21, was launched shortly after he was arraigned on fees of assault and legal possession of a weapon in relation to the altercation together with his father, through which the authorities mentioned he had slashed his father with a damaged espresso cup. He was arrested once more final week and charged with the homicide of Ms. Fuertes.

The Police Division disputed the declare, saying it didn’t obtain a detainer request when Mr. Khan was first arrested. ICE responded by releasing a duplicate of the fax transmission kind appended to the detainer, which was dated Nov. 27, the identical day because the arrest.

“How rather more do you want? Ought to he have beat up his mom, too? Ought to he kick the canine?” Mr. Albence mentioned. “How rather more do it is advisable to take enforcement motion towards an unlawful alien?”

A spokeswoman for Mayor Invoice de Blasio known as Ms. Fuertes’s dying “an absolute tragedy.”

“Worry hate and makes an attempt to divide are signatures of the Trump Administration, not New York Metropolis. We’re the most secure large metropolis in America due to our insurance policies, not regardless of them,” mentioned the spokeswoman, Freddi Goldstein. Ms. Fuertes emigrated to New York from the Dominican Republic within the 1960s and was a authorized resident of the US, her son mentioned. In recent times, she collected cans round her neighborhood of South Richmond Hill, Queens, and was described after her dying as a beloved determine in her neighborhood.

At the same time as Mr. Fuertes critcized town’s dealing with of Mr. Khan’s assault case, he additionally denounced latest federal immigration insurance policies leading to extra deportations and little one separation. “They don’t do what they need to be doing,” mentioned Mr. Fuertes, 69.

He mentioned in an interview that he agreed with sanctuary metropolis insurance policies however didn’t imagine “criminals” needs to be strolling out on the streets.

Mr. Albence, the performing ICE director, excoriated New York’s sanctuary insurance policies past the dying of Ms. Fuertes, saying town refused to honor 1000’s of detainers annually and didn’t cooperate in different methods, comparable to barring ICE brokers from conducting interviews in metropolis jails.

Of the greater than 7,500 detainer requests lodged by the ICE New York bureau area workplace, the New York Police Division honored about 10, Mr. Albence mentioned.

President Trump has repeatedly attacked sanctuary cities — which embody New York Metropolis, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco — saying that refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities to switch these arrested into the custody of ICE jeopardizes public security, and that such locations have develop into havens for criminals.

Throughout his information convention, Mr. Albence mentioned there had been a extra “seen presence” of ICE officers in communities across the nation over the last two or three years due to sanctuary insurance policies.

“We’re not going to show a blind eye and put harmless individuals in danger as a result of the regulation enforcement businesses in sure jurisdictions don’t, don’t or can’t, work with us,” he mentioned.

Mr. Khan was arrested on Jan. 10 after the police had launched surveillance video asking for the general public’s help find a person suspected of attacking Ms. Fuertes, who was discovered unconscious and partially uncovered behind a parked car close to her house. She later died of her accidents.

Mr. Khan is scheduled to seem in courtroom subsequent week in reference to the fees that he assaulted his father.

Andrea Salcedo contributed reporting.


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