According to a news release the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 54 individuals in New Jersey during a week long action targeting criminal illegal immigrants who were released from local law enforcement custody into the community instead of being transferred to ICE. Criminals illegal immigrants in New Jersey cannot be released to ICE custody due to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Immigrant Trust Directive.
According to the release 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, as is the case in New Jersey due to the Attorney General’s directive, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission. ERO deportation officers targeted at-large criminal aliens in non-cooperative jurisdictions such as New Jersey.
In FY 2018, ERO arrested 158,581 aliens, 90% of whom had criminal convictions (66%), pending criminal charges (21%) or previously issued final orders of removal (3%). Most removals (57%) were convicted criminals. Additionally 5,914 of the removed illegal aliens were classified as either known or suspected gang members or terrorists. ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.
New Jersey has one of the largest illegal immigrant populations in the United States. A 2014 Pew Research study estimated that 500,000 illegal immigrants were living in New Jersey.
Even with these arrests there are still dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in the community.
- Luciano Trejo-Dominguez, 33, was arrested Aug. 12 by the Vineland Police Department for aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault (victim 13-15 years old), criminal restraint, criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child. On Aug. 13, 2019 and Aug. 14, 2019, respectively, the Pacific Enforcement Response Center and the ICE office in Mount Laurel both lodged detainers on Trejo-Dominguez with the Cumberland County Jail. He was released into the community Aug. 23, 2019, and remains at-large.
- On Aug. 18, 2019, Edgar Camarillo-Ruiz,33, was arrested by the New Brunswick Police Department for the charge of Simple Assault – Domestic Violence. On August 19, 2019, ICE lodged a detainer with the Middlesex County Jail; however, the detainer was not honored, and Camarillo-Ruiz was released into the community. He remains at-large.
- On Dec. 24, 2018, Elvis Rafael Cabrera-Vasquez, 38, was arrested by the Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Police Department and charged with Simple Assault/Domestic Violence. ICE lodged a detainer that same day with the Middlesex County Jail; however, the detainer was not honored, and Cabrera-Vasquez was released into the community. On Feb. 14, 2019, Cabrera-Vasquez was arrested by the Perth Amboy, New Jersey Police Department and charged with Contempt-Violate a Domestic Violence Judicial Order.
Late last year when Attorney General Grewal released his sanctuary rules ICE responded with a threat of more immigration raids in New Jersey. A representative of the ICE office in Newark told NBC News at the time that ICE raids will “likely increase” as a result of the directive. “The probability is that at-large arrests and worksite enforcement operations, which already exist, will likely increase due to the fact that ICE will no longer have cooperation related to immigration enforcement,” ICE spokesman Emilio Dabul added “the highest priority is public safety and enforcing immigration laws, we must pursue that to the best extent possible, which will likely involve more at-large arrests”.
ICE arrested 105 illegal immigrants in New Jersey in a 5 day operation in December 2018 and 123 illegal immigrants during a month long operation in New Jersey in March and April 2019. When Attorney General Grewal ordered New Jersey law enforcement agencies not to cooperate with ICE we were told the new sanctuary rules would not provide protection to criminals in New Jersey. These ICE raids show that was untrue.
While Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal do not feel the need to enforce the law and protect the tax paying residents of New Jersey the men and women of ICE are stepping up and protecting us from dangerous criminals. Murphy and Grewal have prevented New Jersey law enforcement from protecting us but ICE is out there arresting dangerous criminals and enforcing the law.
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