Tags: Illegals | Gang Member | Released | NYC | Sanctuary Law

Gang Member Released From NYC Jail Due to Sanctuary Law

Image: Gang Member Released From NYC Jail Due to Sanctuary Law

Rikers Island jail complex stands in New York with the Manhattan skyline in the background. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017 01:12 PM

El Salvadoran gang member Estivan Rafael Velasquez was released from Rikers Island in New York, despite his status as an illegal immigrant because of New York's sanctuary law, according to a report in the New York Post.

"This man is by his own admission a member of a violent street gang and he was released back into the community. Honoring a detainer request is not about politics, it is about keeping New York citizens safe," said Thomas Decker, field officer at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Unit.

Velasquez has a criminal record in the U.S. that includes reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, and disorderly conduct, officials told the Post.

However, his convictions were not on the list of 170 offenses that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's 2014 Sanctuary City law deems violent or serious, the Post reported.

In May 2016, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials requested Velasquez be turned over to them when his disorderly conduct sentence was finished. No one at ICE, however, was told about his Feb. 16 release, officials told the Post.

Agents arrested Velasquez after his release, finding him the same day in Queens, notes the Post and Immigration officials are now preparing to deport him, according to NJ.com.

A city hall spokesperson told the Post that he was released because he had served his time.

"The detainee was released after he pled guilty and served his time to an offense that does not qualify as a violent or serious felony under the city's local laws, and his gang affiliation was not supported by evidence that meets even minimal constitutional standards," said Rosemary Boeglin, spokesperson for the city hall.

"When ICE presents evidence to our city that an individual in our custody has been convicted of a violent or serious offense — one that threatens the public's safety — we will fully cooperate," Boeglin added.

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El Salvadoran gang member Estivan Rafael Velasquez was released from Rikers Island in New York, despite his status as an illegal immigrant because of New York's sanctuary law, according to a report in the New York Post.
Illegals, Gang Member, Released, NYC, Sanctuary Law
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2017-12-22
Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017 01:12 PM
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