Just how scared are New York officials of the public finally focusing on their sanctuary policies, which harbor some of the worst criminals of other countries? Scared enough to lie about it.
On January 6, residents of the Richmond Hill neighborhood in Queens, New York, were shocked to discover Maria Fuertes, a 92-year-old well-known woman in the neighborhood, lying in the street just after midnight. It wasn’t until several days later that medical examiners realized she was actually murdered. Police also said they found a surveillance video of a man knocking her to the ground and assaulting her. On January 10, NYPD announced the arrest of Reeaz Khan and charged him with sexually assaulting and then murdering Fuertes.
ICE issued a statement on Monday revealing that Khan is an illegal alien from Guyana who should never have been in the country. The immigration agency also publicized the fact that Khan was arrested on November 27 for assault and criminal possession of a weapon, just six weeks before the murder. ICE issued a detainer request, but the NYPD, in compliance with New York’s illegal policies of restricting communication with ICE, released him without bail after the arraignment.
Local media is reporting that Khan also had a prior criminal history, which means this illegal alien was able to continue committing crimes and cycling back onto the streets. Had federal law been followed, Khan would have been in removal proceedings, and Fuertes would still be alive.
Given the 2,500 murders and 14,500 sexual offense charges among those subject to ICE’s detainers every year, rapes and murders that are 100 percent preventable undoubtedly happen every day in every sanctuary city. But this murder was so shocking and high-profile that New York officials couldn’t led it slide without a response. So, they flat-out lied and said ICE never requested a hold and they knew nothing of his immigration status. The New York Times quotes an NYPD spokeswoman claiming they “did not receive an ICE detainer in regard to this individual” after he had been arrested on Nov. 27.
The problem with that statement: ICE has a copy of the detainer request stamped 7:42 on November 27:
"It is the height of hypocrisy for NYC to blame ICE for this tragic crime. The mayor & police chief have continually celebrated that they don’t honor ICE detainers, & to deflect the criticism for this completely preventable murder is incredibly disingenuous & shameful... (1/2) pic.twitter.com/zTQIBIfoR9
— ICE (@ICEgov) January 15, 2020
...ICE could’ve wallpapered the precinct with detainers & #NYPD would still not have honored them.” –Matthew Albence, Acting Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (2/2) pic.twitter.com/EPoqsAINmH
— ICE (@ICEgov) January 15, 2020
What is self-evident from this episode is that sanctuary politicians cannot withstand a sustained debate and direct exposing of the severity of the criminal alien problem. In the abstract, when talking about immigration in general, they openly brag about the need to protect illegal immigrants and how evil ICE is, as acting ICE director Matthew Albence observed in his comment. They openly flaunt and even delegitimize the concept of a detainer, as if somehow ICE and immigration law are less legitimate than a DEA or ATF detainer request for drug or firearms violations. But when light is shed on the fact that ICE’s detainer policy applies exclusively to those arrested for crimes, and there are many of them, their public posture becomes untenable.
This is a lesson for the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress. If they had a sustained legislative and budget battle over cities harboring other countries’ murderers and rapists, it would change the landscape of politics. The Trump administration could highlight numberless cases every day and use them as rationale for cutting off funding.