“The officer’s injury was the direct result of New York’s criminal alien sanctuary policies.”
In a statement to The Daily Caller, the White House said an incident involving an illegal immigrant biting off the finger of an Immigration Customs Enforcement agent who was trying to apprehend him can be directly attributed to lax New York City immigration laws.
Christopher Santos Felix, a Dominican national, entered the United States on a tourist visa but stayed in the country illegally after the visa expired, an ICE spokeswoman told The Daily Caller. According to the spokeswoman, despite Felix committing multiple criminal offenses – including driving while intoxicated and assault –and despite ICE’s request that New York police hold him so he could be taken into federal custody, he was allowed to go free.
ICE blames New York City’s “sanctuary city” policies for Felix’s release.
In March, Felix was arrested by federal authorities for an immigration violation.
While in custody, Felix assaulted an ICE agent after his handcuffs were removed to allow him to get dressed. While other officers attempted to restrain him, he bit one officer’s finger.
In a statement to the Daily Caller, the White House condemned the attack and New York’s sanctuary laws.
“New York’s dangerous ‘sanctuary’ policies are directly responsible for the egregious and violent harm suffered by this courageous ICE officer,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said.
In an op-ed published in the Gotham Gazette in late 2016, New York City Council members Carlos Menchaca and Julissa Ferreras-Copeland described the passing of a resolution affirming the Council’s commitment to New York City’s status as a sanctuary city for immigrants.
“Our City Council, like those in municipalities across the country, will play a lead role in this fight by redoubling our efforts to keep New York City a true sanctuary city,” they wrote.
Menchaca and Ferreras-Copeland said the Council’s 2014 detainer discretion law protected “between 3,000 and 4,000 New Yorkers per year from deportation.”
“The law draws a bright line between municipal law enforcement and overly aggressive federal immigration enforcement,” they added. “All New Yorkers are safer when there is trust between immigrants and the NYPD because crimes are more likely to be reported and witnesses feel safer.”