NEW YORK — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers arrested Feliciano Perez-Bautista, 32, on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Perez-Bautista, a twice removed Mexican national who has pending manslaughter and gang assault charges, was released from local law enforcement custody with an active detainer due to Westchester County’s Immigrant Protection Act.
“When law enforcement agencies decide to not honor ICE detainers and release violent criminals back onto the streets, they are putting their city at serious risk,” said ICE New York Field Office Director Thomas Decker. “We want nothing more than to cooperate and work together with local law enforcement authorities in order to protect our communities and keep this nation secure. Unfortunately, more and more we are seeing politicians place their own political agenda above the safety of the citizens in which they serve. This leaves local law enforcement agencies handcuffed by these reckless policies which give them no choice but to release criminals, like this unlawfully present Mexican national charged with manslaughter, back onto the streets to further terrorize the community.”
On July 8, 2019, Perez-Bautista was arrested by the Yonkers Police Department (YPD) for the charge of gang assault 1st degree: cause serious physical injury. After the victim succumbed to his injuries, Perez-Bautista was additionally charged with manslaughter 1st: with intent to cause serious physical injury. On July 12, ERO deportation officers lodged a detainer with the YPD. On July 30, ERO deportation officers lodged a detainer with the Westchester Department of Corrections. Neither detainer was not honored, and Perez-Bautista was later released, without notification to ICE.
On Nov. 26, ERO deportation officers assigned to ERO-New York’s Newburgh Sub-Office arrested Perez-Bautista, who was previously removed by ICE in May 2013 and September 2014, in White Plains, New York. He is currently detained in ICE custody pending a removal to Mexico.
Under federal law, ICE has the authority to lodge immigration detainers with law enforcement partners who have custody of individuals arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens. The detainer form 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 a criminal alien onto the streets, it negatively impacts public safety.
Congress has established no process, requirement, or expectation directing ICE to seek a judicial warrant from already overburdened federal courts before taking custody of an alien on civil immigration violations. This idea is simply a figment created by those who wish to undermine immigration enforcement and excuse the ill-conceived practices of sanctuary jurisdictions that put politics before public safety.
Sanctuary Policies Put Public Safety at Risk
- When law enforcement agencies don’t honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat.
- Any local jurisdiction thinking that refusing to cooperate with ICE will result in a decrease in local immigration enforcement is mistaken. Local jurisdictions that choose to not cooperate with ICE are likely to see an increase in ICE enforcement activity, as ICE the agency has no choice but to conduct more at-large arrest operations. A consequence of ICE being forced to make more arrests on the streets is the agency is likely to encounter other unlawfully present foreign nationals that wouldn’t have been encountered had we been allowed to take custody of a criminal target within the confines of a local jail.
- Additionally, once these criminals are out on the street, confirming their whereabouts is often time consuming and resource intensive. Many of our arrest targets are seasoned criminals who are savvy about eluding law enforcement.
Despite the severe challenges that local policies have created for ICE, we remain committed to our public safety mission and we will continue to do our sworn duty to seek out dangerous criminal aliens and other immigration violators. ICE seeks straightforward cooperation with all local law enforcement and elected officials.
ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement actions every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.
ERO New York’s Area of Responsibility: The City of New York, and the following counties: Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester.