BROOKLYN — Immigration and Customs Enforcement slammed New York’s sanctuary city status Tuesday after ICE officers arrested a man accused of raping a teen in Brooklyn.
Miguel Federico Ajqui-Ajtzalam, 20, was originally arrested by the NYPD on Thursday, according to ICE. He was released from custody after his arraignment —though ICE had issued a detainer — and was then arrested again, this time by ICE, on Monday. Local Enforcement and Removal Operations Director Rhomas Decker called Ajqui-Ajtzalam’s release “inconceivable.”
“It’s frightening that our detainer was ignored and he was released onto New York City streets to possibly re-offend,” Decker said. “The safety of city residents, especially the more vulnerable, continues to be a priority for ICE enforcement.”
The victim was 13, an NYPD spokesperson said. Ajqui-Ajtzalam, a Brooklyn resident, was 19 at the time the criminal report was filed.
“The NYPD does not conduct civil immigration enforcement and we will only honor immigration detainers under the following circumstances: ICE presents a warrant issued by a federal judge establishing that there is probable cause to take the person into custody, and the person has been convicted of a “violent or serious crime” within five years of the arrest or is a possible match on the terrorist watch list,” an NYPD spokesperson said.
In January, ICE blamed the death of a 92-year-old Queens woman on New York’s sanctuary city status, which allows the city to shield undocumented immigrants who have broken the law from deportation requests, in some cases.
PIX11 has reached out to the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for comment.