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U.S. Attorney files petition for Dept. of Corrections to release information on illegal immigrants who are under investigation

Photo via Flickr/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is filing a petition for the city Department of Corrections to release information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about four arrested individuals with criminal backgrounds.

On Jan. 17, 2020, ICE issued four subpoenas to New York Department of Corrections (NYDOC) requesting information on multiple illegal immigrants who were criminally arrested in New York City. One of the arrested individuals included 21-year-old Reeaz Khan, a citizen of Guyana who was arrested last month for allegedly sexually assaulting and murdering 92-year-old Maria Fuertes in Queens. According to ICE, due to New York City’s sanctuary policies Khan had been previously released from custody in November 2019 despite ICE having lodged a detainer against him.

The other arrested individuals included a 26-year-old citizen of El Salvador who was arrested for assault in September 2019 and is wanted in El Salvador for homicide, a 38-year-old citizen of Mexico who was arrested in January 2019 for attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment and attempted assault and another 38-year-old citizen of Mexico who was arrested by NYPD in October 2019 on drug charges.

According to ICE, each individual had a retainer against them, but were ultimately released by the NYDOC.

“Like any law enforcement agency, we are used to modifying our tactics as criminals shift their strategies; but it’s disheartening that we must change our practices and jump through so many hoops with partners who are restricted by sanctuary laws passed by politicians with a dangerous agenda,” said Henry Lucero, acting Deputy Executive Associate Director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, in a press release from January.

As of Feb. 2, the city has not complied with ICE’s subpoenas. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is petitioning to make the city follow through with the subpoenas and give ICE the information they are seeking.

According to court documents, the federal government has “broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens,” and that Congress has exercised their authority to investigate and remove illegal immigrants. The petition argues that since ICE properly filed the necessary subpoenas as a part of their investigation, the city should respond with the documents and information that the subpoena asks for.

Emily Davenport