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July 25, 2018New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE arrests 65 during Operation Cross Check in New York City and Long Island

NEW YORK – Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 65 during a 5-day period, ending July 20 in New York City, and on Long Island.

During the operation, ICE’s ERO arrested 65 individuals for violating U.S. immigration laws. 64 of those arrested, had been previously removed from the United States and returned illegally. Of those arrested, 29 individuals were previously released from local law enforcement custody with an active detainer. Several had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as sexual offenses, weapons charges, and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.

“In this operation 64 of the 65 arrested had already been removed from this country, and the majority have either criminal convictions or pending criminal charges,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York.  “The fact is that ICE in New York continues to enforce immigration laws as they have always done, targeting criminal aliens and removing them from our streets.  The rhetoric is copious, blurring the lines of fact versus fiction.  But despite all the criticism, our officers continue to work daily with professionalism and integrity, enforcing the law as set forth by Congress.”

Arrests include:

  • In Brooklyn, a 41 year-old, Mexican national, previously removed from the U.S. on six separate occasions, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, who has convictions for aggravated identity theft, criminal mischief, DWI, petit larceny, resisting arrest, and illegal reentry after removal;
  • In the Bronx, a 48 year-old previously removed Jamaican national, who has convictions for cocaine possession, and weapons possession;
  • In Corona, a 31 year-old previously removed Mexican national, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, wanted in his home country for fraud; 
  • In the Bronx, a 42 year-old previously removed Jamaican national, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, who has convictions for menacing, and possession of marijuana for sale: greater than four pounds;
  • In Staten Island, a 56 year-old previously removed Colombian national, released from NYPD custody with an active detainer, who has convictions  for cocaine trafficking; 
  • In Brooklyn, a 31 year-old previously removed Salvadoran national, who has convictions for forcible touching: forcibly touch other person’s sexual/intimate parts, and petit larceny;
  • In Brooklyn, a 49 year-old previously removed Jamaican national, who has convictions for aggravated identity theft, and passport fraud;
  • In the Bronx, a 35 year-old previously removed Salvadoran national, twice released from New York City Department of Correction custody with an active detainer who has a conviction for sexual abuse 3rd degree: subject another person to sexual contact without consent;

Criminal histories of those arrested during the operation are as follows: Aggravated Identity Theft, Assault, Attempted Assault, Cocaine Possession, Cocaine Trafficking, Criminal Mischief, Disorderly Conduct, DWI, Forcible Touching, Illegal Entry into the U.S, Illegal Reentry after Removal, Menacing, Passport Fraud, Petit Larceny, Possession of Marihuana, Resisting Arrest, Sexual Abuse, and Weapons Possession.

  • 6 are being prosecuted criminally in U.S District Court 
  • 3 were referred to the US Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution 
  • 48 of those arrested have criminal convictions, or have criminal charges pending (31 convicted + 17 pending charges)

The arrestees include nationals from Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Ukraine. ERO deportation officers made arrests throughout New York City, and Long Island, specifically in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Nassau County, and Suffolk County.

ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. However, ICE no longer exempts classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.

Some of the individuals arrested during this operation will face federal criminal prosecutions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after deportation. The arrestees who are not being federally prosecuted, are detained in ICE custody, and will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Any individual that returns to the United States illegally after being deported, is subject to immediate removal from the country. 

ERO deportation officers arrested 29 individuals during this operation that were previously released from local law enforcement on an active detainer. ICE places detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being deportable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.

In years past, most of these individuals would have been turned over to ICE by local authorities upon their release from jail based on ICE detainers. Now that many sanctuary cities, including New York City, do not honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat.

ICE has no choice but to continue to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community.

Ultimately, efforts by local NYC politicians have shielded removable criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and created another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect.  Despite the severe challenges that local policies have created for ICE, we remain committed to our public safety mission and we will continue to do our sworn duty to seek out dangerous criminal aliens and other immigration violators. ICE seeks straightforward cooperation with all local law enforcement and elected officials.

ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls. These operations involve existing, established Fugitive Operations Teams.