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'Own it': Acting ICE director blames NYC's 'sanctuary city' policies for the sexual assault and murder of 92-year-old woman

'Don't sit there and try to pass the blame onto somebody else'

Image Source: YouTube screenshot

During a news conference Friday morning, Matthew Albence, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, dealt out scathing criticism toward New York's "sanctuary city" policies following the sexual assault and murder of a 92-year-old woman by an alleged illegal immigrant last week.

"Make no mistake, it is this city's sanctuary policies that is the sole reason this criminal was allowed to roam the streets freely and end an innocent woman's life," Albence said.

"One simple phone call and Maria Fuertes could be alive today," he added later.

What are the details?

Maria Fuertes, 92, known to neighbors as a friendly elderly woman who loved cats, was thrown to the ground, sexually assaulted, and murdered just steps from her home Jan. 6.

After initially believing the cause of death to be an accidental fall, police later arrested 21-year-old Reeaz Khan on murder and sexual assault charges.

Khan, a Guyanese national, was in the country illegally, according to WABC-TV.

What's more, Khan had been in police custody after stabbing his father with a broken coffee cup in November. Following news of the arrest, ICE officials lodged an immigration detainer on Khan, requesting that law enforcement officials delay his release until ICE could assume custody and determine if he was eligible for removal.

However, Khan was not turned over to ICE due to New York City's sanctuary cities policy, which only turns over offenders after they've been convicted of a violent crime. Instead, he was released to the public.

Under fire after Fuertes' murder, New York City police maintained that it "did not receive an ICE detainer in regard to this individual," according to a spokesman for the department, but ICE quickly exposed that claim as false when it tweeted a copy of the detainer time-stamped for 7:42 on November 27.

'Own it ... It's disgusting.'

"As a 25-year law enforcement professional, it is unbelievable that I have to come here and plead with the city of New York to cooperate with us to help keep this city safe," Albence charged.

During the news conference he slammed New York for actively thwarting his agency's attempts to do their jobs by holding to sanctuary cities policies. This, he said, results in increased public safety risks.

He also called on city officials to "own" the blame that should come with adhering to such policies.

"If you're going to have a sanctuary city policy and you know it's going to result in people going back into the street and committing more crimes, at least own it," Albence said. "At least stand up and say that's our policy. Own it. Don't sit there and try to pass the blame onto somebody else. It's disgusting."

You can watch the full news conference here; Albence's remarks begin at the 17-minute mark.

youtu.be

(H/T: Hot Air)

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