NEW YORK – An Indian national, who has pending charges for assault, forcible touching, sexual abuse and harassment, is among five aliens from as many countries recently arrested in the New York-metropolitan area after detainers filed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) were ignored.
Gurnam Singh, 21, a citizen of India, was arrested by ERO deportation officers on Oct. 16, following a series of arrests and encounters by New York law enforcement and a subsequently ignored immigration detainer. On Dec. 26, 2016, Singh was arrested by the New York City Police for misdemeanor charges. He was later released on his own recognizance. Days later, he was arrested again by NYPD on charges of criminal contempt. He was released on bond Jan. 11, from the New York City Department of Corrections (NYDOC).
On June 15, Singh was again arrested by NYPD for criminal contempt, assault, criminal mischief and harassment. He was arraigned on June 21, in Queens Criminal Court, on local charges, and subsequently released from custody on bond.
As a result of New York City legislation, which closed the ICE Criminal Alien Program office on Rikers Island, he was never encountered and/or interviewed by deportation officers at any point. On Sept. 6, Singh was again arrested on local charges. On the same day, deportation officers lodged an immigration detainer and warrant of arrest with the Queens Central Booking, which ultimately went unanswered. On Oct. 16, ICE deportation officers arrested Singh in Elmhurst, New York, on immigration violations. He is currently detained in ICE custody, pending a removal hearing before an immigration judge.
Marco Freiire, 42, a citizen of Ecuador, was arrested on Oct. 16, by ERO deportation officers assigned to the Fugitive Operations Team. Freiire was released from police custody on July 19, despite a detainer being issued, following his July 4, arrest on charges of assault, criminal possession of a weapon, harassment and menacing. On Oct. 16, ERO deportation officers arrested Freiire outside of his residence in Brooklyn, New York, on immigration violations. He is currently detained in ICE custody, pending a removal hearing before an immigration judge.
Steven Anthony Beswick, 42, a Jamaican citizen, was arrested by local authorities Oct. 6. While in custody, ICE lodged a detainer with the Westchester County Department of Corrections. Beswick posted bond and was released from custody on the same day. Beswick has previous convictions in New York City for criminal possession of marijuana. He is currently detained in ICE custody, pending a hearing before an immigration judge.
Omar Castro, 31, a previously-removed Mexican national was arrested by the New York Police Department July 28, in Brooklyn, New York, on local charges. Deportation officers lodged an immigration detainer with the Kings County Criminal Court. Castro was later released. Castro, who previously served one year in prison for possession of a controlled substance, was previously removed from the United States to Mexico in April 2010. ERO deportation officers arrested Castro in Flushing, New York, on federal illegal re-entry after deportation charges, a felony, which are currently pending in U.S. District Court. He is in U.S. Marshals Service custody.
On Aug. 4, ERO deportation officers identified Jonathan Aparicio, 20, a Mexican national, while he was detained in the custody of the Westchester County Department of Corrections, and lodged an immigration detainer. On Sept. 13, Aparicio pleaded guilty to local charges in Yonkers City Court and was sentenced to time served. Aparicio was released without the lodged immigration detainer being honored, and without notification to ICE. On Oct. 3, ERO deportation officers arrested Aparicio Oct. 5, in Yonkers, New York on immigration violations. He is currently detained in ICE custody, pending a hearing before an immigration judge
Detainers serve as a legally-authorized request, upon which a law enforcement agency may rely, to continue to maintain custody of an alien for up to 48 hours so that ICE may assume custody for removal purposes. Pursuant to ICE policy, all ICE detainers are submitted with an accompanying administrative arrest warrant or warrant of removal depending upon the circumstances of the individual case.
ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. Depending on the alien’s criminal history, an alien who illegally reenters the United States, after having been previously removed, has committed a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.
Since January, ICE arrests comprise over 70 percent convicted criminals. Of the remaining individuals not convicted of a crime, approximately 70 percent have either been charged with a crime, are an immigration fugitive, or have been removed from the United States and illegally re-entered – reflecting the agency’s continued prioritization of its limited enforcement resources on aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.