Two men suspected of sexually assaulting underage victims who were once behind bars are now roaming free because local authorities in New Jersey and New York refused to hold them for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
ICE officials said each man was facing separate charges of sexually assaulting a minor according to WLNY.
Both men are Mexican citizens, the station reported.
@GovAndrewCuomo @GovPhilMurphy thanks to you #LEO have 2 additional fugitives to apprehend. #EnforceTheLaw Child Rape Suspects Released In NY&NJ After Locals Refuse To Hold Men For ICE https://t.co/rKjk6pK5ZF
— Phil McCupp (@PMccupp) September 27, 2019
In the New Jersey case, Luciano Trejo-Dominguez was arrested by Vineland, New Jersey, police on Aug. 12 and charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault of a victim 13-15 years-old, criminal restraint, criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child.
ICE and the Pacific Enforcement Response Center spent two days filing requests to have the alleged rapist held at the Cumberland County Jail until they could pick him up. Instead, those requests were denied and Trejo-Dominguez was released on Aug. 23, WLNY reported.
In the New York case, Joaquin Rodriguez Quiroz was arrested by police in Westchester County on 3rd-degree rape charges on Sept. 6. The incident involved a victim under age 17, which is a felony in New York state.
ICE asked the Westchester County Jail to hold Quiroz, but he was freed the next day after posting bond.
“As law enforcement professionals, it is frustrating to see senseless acts of violence and other criminal activity happen in our communities, knowing ICE could have prevented them with just a little cooperation,” Albence said at a news conference, WPIX reported.
“To the public, who want to live and raise your families in safe neighborhoods, we ask you to hold your lawmakers accountable before you, or someone you love, is unnecessarily victimized by a criminal ICE could have removed from the country.”
On Friday, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said his state’s policy upholds the law properly, according to WXKW.
“Critics like to claim that we are providing quote — ‘sanctuary’ — to dangerous criminals. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Grewal said.
“Under our Immigrant Trust Directive, if you break the law you go to jail regardless of your immigration status. No one — I repeat, no one — gets a free pass in this state to commit crime,” he said.
Grewal said New Jersey is not soft on crime.
“This notion of sanctuary is a complete red herring and it’s a false narrative being put out there,” he said. “To suggest that we are somehow giving anyone a free pass is nothing but a politically convenient statement to make in the current environment.
ICE has labeled both men as fugitives and is asking that if anyone sees them to contact ICE at 866-DHS-2-ICE.