Immigration and Customs Enforcement is feuding with New York City’s stated policy of non-compliance with federal immigration detainers.
The detainers from ICE ask for local law enforcement to hold an illegal immigrant in custody until federal agents can retrieve the illegal alien. An ICE press release Friday said, “ICE arrests convicted Mexican national released from local custody after detainer was ignored.”
ICE officers arrested a Mexican national, Luis Alejandro Villegas, on Wednesday just weeks after he was released by New York Police Department officials who ignored an immigration detainer. Villegas was in local custody for driving while intoxicated, and he previously served five years in prison for armed robbery. He was deported back to Mexico in 2007 following his stint in prison.
“Villegas is a criminal alien who was released back into our New York communities, posing an increased and unnecessary risk to those who live in this great city,” Thomas R. Decker, New York field office director for enforcement and removal operations, said in a statement.
Decker added: “This level of risk can be mitigated in many instances and ICE welcomes changes to the current policy which is creating a potentially unsafe environment for the city’s residents. ICE is committed to strengthening its relationship with local law enforcement in the interest of public safety and national security while preserving the critical community-police bond.”
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday calling for the federal government to stop providing funds to jurisdictions which don’t cooperate with immigration detainers. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he doesn’t plan to change policy following the executive order and has claimed the city has “solid ground for a legal challenge to the executive order should the occasion arise.”
New York City’s comptroller recently said that the Big Apple could lose an estimated $7 billion annually in federal funding if they do not change their “sanctuary” policy.