NEW YORK — A 39-year-old Mexican national illegally present in the U.S. was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers Jan. 31. ERO had previously lodged an immigration detainer with the New York City Department of Corrections (NYCDOC) following his arrest for a sexual offense in the Bronx.
Martin Estrada-Barela was arrested by the NYPD Jan. 17, 2019, on the charges of attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment, and attempted assault. Estrada-Barela was subsequently arraigned and remanded into the custody of the NYCDOC. On January 20, 2019, ERO officers assigned to ERO New York’s Criminal Alien Program lodged a detainer with the NYCDOC. In Feb. 2019, Estrada-Barela posted bond and was released from NYCDOC custody without the detainer being honored, as a result of New York City’s sanctuary policies.
On Jan 21. 2020, ICE served an immigration subpoena on the NYCDOC requesting information believed to be in their possession regarding Estrada-Barela. However, despite the lack of response to the subpoena, ERO officers arrested Estrada-Barela Jan. 31 in the Bronx, New York. He is currently detained in ICE custody, pending removal proceedings before a federal immigration judge.
“Estrada-Barela was released back into the community after his sexual offenses charges, even when he could have safely been taken into ICE custody. And because no information was received from the subpoena, it took that much longer to locate him, allowing that much more time for him to potentially re-offend,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York. “The politics of NYC place the safety of its citizens in danger when they refuse to honor our detainers, and when you add the refusal to provide information as well – it’s a clear signal that they place the criminal alien above law-abiding residents. Law enforcement’s common goal is to keep the public safe, and despite the policies of politicians and city officials that place obstacles to protect the criminal alien, we will continue to enforce immigration laws and make the community safe.”
ICE removed or returned 267,000 aliens in fiscal year 2019. ERO arrested 143,000 aliens, more than 86 percent of whom had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal.