NEW YORK — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers arrested Grachowe Harrichand, 43, Wednesday, Oct. 9. Harrichand, a Guyanese national previously ordered removed from the U.S, was twice released from local law enforcement custody with an active detainer due to New York City’s sanctuary policies.
On March 6, 2019, Harrichand was arrested by the New York Police Department (NYPD) for the charges of sexual abuse, 1st: contact with victim less than 13, sexual abuse 2nd: sexual contact with person less than 14 years-old, sexual abuse 3rd: subject another person to sex contact without consent, forcible touching: touch sexual/intimate parts of another person, act in manner injure child less than 17 years-old, and aggravated harassment. ERO deportation officers lodged a detainer with local authorities. On June 3, Harrichand pleaded guilty to Act In Manner Injure Child, and was sentenced to six months in custody. The detainer was not honored and Harrichand was released from the custody of the New York City Department of Correction (NYCDOC).
On July 5, Harrichand was again arrested by the NYPD for the charges of sexual abuse 3rd: subject another person to sex contact without consent, forcible touching, act in manner injure child less than 17 years-old, and harassment. ERO deportation officers lodged a detainer with the NYCDOC, but it was not honored and he was later released from custody. Those charges are currently pending.
On Oct 9, ERO deportation officers arrested him in South Richmond Hill, New York. With a final order of removal in place from 2004, he is currently detained in ICE custody pending his removal to Guyana.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodges detainers on individuals who have been arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens. The detainer asks the other law enforcement agency to notify ICE in advance of release and to maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting upon release from that agency’s 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.
Congress has established no process, requirement, or expectation directing ICE to seek a judicial warrant from already overburdened federal courts before taking custody of an alien on civil immigration violations. This idea is simply a figment created by those who wish to undermine immigration enforcement and excuse the ill-conceived practices of sanctuary jurisdictions that put politics before public safety.
Sanctuary Policies Put Public Safety at Risk
- When law enforcement agencies don’t honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat. When ICE Fugitive Operations officers have to go out into the community to proactively locate these criminal aliens, regardless of the precautions they take, it needlessly puts our personnel and potentially innocent bystanders in harm’s way.
- Any local jurisdiction thinking that refusing to cooperate with ICE will result in a decrease in local immigration enforcement is mistaken. Local jurisdictions that choose to not cooperate with ICE are likely to see an increase in ICE enforcement activity, as in jurisdictions that do not cooperate with ICE the agency has no choice but to conduct more at-large arrest operations. A consequence of ICE being forced to make more arrests on the streets is the agency is likely to encounter other unlawfully present foreign nationals that wouldn’t have been encountered had we been allowed to take custody of a criminal target within the confines of a local jail.
- Additionally, once these criminals are out on the street, confirming their whereabouts is often time consuming and resource intensive. Many of our arrest targets are seasoned criminals who are savvy about eluding law enforcement.
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 actions 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.
ERO New York’s Area of Responsibility: The City of New York, and the following counties: Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester.