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February 21, 2017New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE arrests MS-13 gang member released from local custody on an active detainer

NEW YORK — Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested a self-admitted MS-13 gang member Feb. 16 after he was released from New York City custody with an active ICE detainer in place. The Salvadoran national has a criminal history in the U.S. which includes reckless endangerment in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, and disorderly conduct.

Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez was released from local custody Feb. 16, after serving time for a criminal conviction of disorderly conduct. ICE filed the detainer May 3, 2016 with the Rikers Island Correctional facility where he was released with disregard for the active detainer. Marques entered the United States without being inspected by an immigration officer. On July 28, 2014, he was issued a Notice to Appear. In Nov. 2015, Marques was ordered removed by an immigration judge.

ERO officers arrested Marques Velasquez Feb. 16 in Queens, New York, pursuant to a final order of removal. He has been processed and is now in ERO detention pending removal.

"This man is by his own admission a member of a violent street gang and he was released back into the community. Honoring a detainer request is not about politics, it is about keeping New York citizens safe,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York. “ICE continues to welcome changes to the city’s current policy which is creating a potentially unsafe environment for its residents. ICE remains steadfast in solidifying its relationship with local law enforcement in the interest of public safety and national security.”

In fiscal year (FY) 2016, ICE removed or returned 240,255 individuals. Of this total, 174,923 were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States. The remaining 65,332 were apprehended in the interior of the United States, and the vast majority were convicted criminals.