1 Jun 2017
Newark, NJ

Federal officers arrested two criminal aliens after local officials released them in spite of an immigration detainer placed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE Enforcement Removal Operations officers issued an immigration detainer for Elder Antonio Quintero Rodriguez on April 14, 2016. Despite the filing, Middlesex County, New Jersey, released the Honduran national on May 19, 2017 without notifying ICE, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from ICE officials.

A court previously convicted Quintero Rodriguez on felony charges of “endangering abuse; the neglect of a child,” ICE officials stated. ERO officers tracked down the criminal alien and arrested him in New Brunswick, NJ, on May 30.

This is not the only case of Middlesex County officials releasing criminal aliens under an ICE detainer. Rolando Herrera Saavedra, a Mexican national, is facing state criminal charges in New Jersey. ICE officers issued an immigration detainer on the suspect on April 21. Despite the request, Middlesex County officials released the criminal alien on bond without notifying immigration officials.

Both of these foreign nationals entered the U.S. illegally, ICE officials stated. They are now being held in ICE custody pending a removal hearing.

“As a nation, we must protect the integrity of our immigration system and aggressively pursue the removal of illegal criminal aliens; this is one of ICE’s top priorities,” Newark ERO Field Office Director John Tsoukaris said in a written statement. “ICE shares the county’s ultimate objective to protect public safety and national security while simultaneously preserving the critical community-police bond; however, counties such as Middlesex that fail to work with ICE in the transfer of custody of criminal aliens, place the citizens of their communities at serious risk.”

ICE officials have previously stated their concerns about having to arrest criminal aliens on the streets of the community as opposed to a safe transfer of custody that could occur while the suspect is still in jail.

“It is unfortunate that we continue to arrest convicted criminals off the street simply because the city refuses to honor detainers and releases them back into our communities,” New York ERO Field Officer Director Thomas R. Decker said earlier this week. “Each time an officer is forced to pick up someone who could have safely been turned over it puts the officers’ safety, as well as the safety of the neighborhoods we serve, at risk. ICE strives to strengthen its relationships with local law enforcement entities in the interest of public safety.”

His remarks followed the arrest of 36-year-old Andres Flores Lopez, a Mexican national arrested by ERO officers after the New York City Department of Corrections released him despite an immigration detainer being placed by ICE. Flores Lopez is a registered sex offender with two misdemeanor convictions for sexual abuse, officials reported.