Illegal Immigrant Accused Of Shooting NYPD Cops Had Immigration Case Dismissed By Judge, ICE Confirms

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Jason Hopkins Immigration Reporter
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The man arrested for allegedly shooting two New York City cops recently had his immigration case dismissed by a judge, federal immigration authorities confirmed.

An immigration judge dismissed removal proceedings against Bernando Raul Castro-Mata less than a month before he was arrested for allegedly shooting two New York Police Department officers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation. He had been apprehended by Border Patrol after unlawfully entering the U.S. near Eagle Pass, Texas, in July 2023. (RELATED: NYC Mayor Says Migrants Can Help Lifeguard Shortage Because They’re ‘Excellent Swimmers’)

Border Patrol had released Castro-Mata on his own recognizance, and a Department of Justice judge dismissed his immigration case on May 6, ICE confirmed.

The shooting occurred when two officers attempted to pull over a suspect, alleged to be Castro-Mata, driving a moped in the wrong direction early Monday morning in Queens, city officials said. The suspect attempted to flee on foot and, amid the chase, fired multiple rounds at the officers, hitting one officer in his bullet-resistant vest and the other officer in the leg.

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 5: Pedestrians cross an intersection near concrete barriers, placed by the New York City Police Department to prevent vehicles from driving onto the sidewalks in Times Square June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Both officers are in stable condition.

Castro-Mata is currently being held in NYPD custody, ICE confirmed. The agency also noted that they have lodged a detainer request for him.

The Venezuelan national had been living in the Landing Family Shelter, which is being used to house migrants in the area, Chief of Detectives Joe Kenny said during a press conference Monday. NYPD suspects he is part of a larger network of motorized bike riders that are orchestrating crime sprees across the city.

“Just to paint you a quick picture of how many of these crimes are being committed. January 1st to June 1st, 2022, zero robbery patterns involving motorized scooters or motorcycles,” Chief of Detectives, Joe Kenny, said Monday.

“The same time period, 2023, 20 robbery patterns. Year to date so far this year, January 1st to June 1st, 2024, we have over 80 robbery patterns citywide involving incidents where the perpetrators are riding motorized scooters or motorcycles,” he said.

The illegal immigration crisis has hit New York City particularly hard, prompting Mayor Eric Adams to sour on the city’s sanctuary policies.

The Big Apple has accepted around 160,000 asylum seekers since April 2022, forcing leaders to make substantial budget cuts in order to deal with the burden. Adams announced 5% budget cuts in September for all government programs and services in order to pay for the incoming illegal immigrants taking refuge in the city, and said in August the city was reaching a “breaking point” from the sheer volume of migrants.

Adams is now reportedly in talks with ICE on rolling back some of the city’s sanctuary laws, enabling federal immigration authorities to more easily apprehend criminal illegal aliens.

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