News and Commentary

Feds Blame De Blasio For Murder Of 92-Year-Old Woman By Illegal Immigrant
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to the media during a press conference at City Hall on January 3, 2020 in New York City.
Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

On Tuesday, a federal official blamed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for the murder of a 92-year-old Queens woman by an illegal immigrant, citing New York City’s “sanctuary policies” triggered the immigrant’s release after he had already been arrested on assault and weapon charges.

Thomas Decker, New York field-office director of enforcement and removal operations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, stated:

It is made clear that New York City’s stance against honoring detainers is dangerously flawed. It was a deadly choice to release a man on an active ICE detainer back onto the streets after his first arrest included assault and weapon charges, and he now faces new charges, including murder. New York City’s sanctuary policies continue to threaten the safety of all residents of the five boroughs, as they repeatedly protect criminal aliens who show little regard for the laws of this nation.

In New York City alone, hundreds of arrestees are released each month with pending charges and/or convictions to return back into the communities where they committed their crimes, instead of being transferred into the custody of ICE. Clearly the politicians care more about criminal illegal aliens than the citizens they are elected to serve and protect.

On November 27, Reeaz Khan, 21, an illegal immigrant from Guyana, was arrested for allegedly slashing his father with a broken ceramic mug, prompting ICE to initiate a detainer request; Khan was charged with misdemeanor assault, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment, and released without bail after being slapped with a temporary order of protection for his dad, as The New York Post reported.

On January 10, Khan was arrested for the sexual abuse and murder of Maria Fuertes, 92; Fuertes was found near death on a Richmond Hill sidewalk in the early morning of Jan. 6. The Post noted, “Fuertes had been lying in the 32-degree weather for about two hours after being sexually assaulted and strangled, law-enforcement sources have said.” Fuertes later died at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, having suffered a broken spine and rib fractures. Khan was charged with murder, sexual abuse, contact by forcible compulsion, and sexual abuse against a person incapable of consent.

The Post added that Fuertes “allegedly implicated himself before being arrested last Friday.” Before he was charged with the murder of Fuertes, Khan informed police he was only trying to help Fuertes on the ground when he “fell down, his belt broke, his pants fell down and his penis fell near her vagina,” but Assistant District Attorney Joseph Grasso said at Khan’s arraignment, “Defendant then stated that he did lift up her skirt and tried to put his penis inside of her.”

“The city’s detainer law and policy mandates that officials turn over to ICE only those who are convicted of violent and serious offenses, and only when ICE has met legal and due process requirements, according to a city official,” The New York Times noted. The NYPD said it “did not receive an ICE detainer” regarding Khan, but ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow noted a fax confirmation receipt of a detainer request sent to the NYPD’s Queens Central Booking unit at 7:41 a.m. on Nov. 27.

ICE stated:

ICE lodges detainers on individuals who have been arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens. The detainer asks the other law enforcement agency to notify ICE in advance of release and to maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting upon release from that agency’s custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.