NEW YORK – Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 16 sexual predators during a 2-day period, ending Sep. 11 in New York City, the Hudson Valley and on Long Island, in an enforcement effort dubbed “Operation SOAR” (Sex Offender Alien Removal).
In the course of Operation SOAR, ERO deportation officers apprehended 16 individuals with criminal histories related to sexual offenses. Of those arrested, 5 were previously released from local law enforcement on an active detainer. ICE places detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being deportable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local 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.
In years past, most of these individuals would have been turned over to ICE by local authorities upon their release from jail based on ICE detainers. Now that many sanctuary cities, including New York City, do not honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat.