ICE Arrests MS-13 Member Released While on Active Detainer in NYC

Officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) have arrested a self-admitted MS-13 gang member Feb. 16 after he was released from New York City custody with an active ICE detainer in place. 

The Salvadoran national has a criminal history in the U.S. which includes reckless endangerment in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, and disorderly conduct.

Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez was released from local custody Feb. 16, after serving time for a criminal conviction of disorderly conduct. 

ICE filed the detainer May 3, 2016 with the Rikers Island Correctional facility where he was released with disregard for the active detainer. 

Marques Velasquez entered the United States without being inspected by an immigration officer.  On July 28, 2014, he was issued a Notice to Appear. In Nov. 2015, Marques was ordered removed by an immigration judge.

ERO officers arrested Marques Velasquez Feb. 16 in Queens, New York, pursuant to a final order of removal.  He has been processed and is now in ERO detention pending removal.

(ICE ERO identifies & apprehends removable aliens, detains these individuals when necessary and removes illegal aliens from the U.S. This unit prioritizes the apprehension, arrest and removal of convicted criminals, those who pose a threat to national security, fugitives and recent border entrants. Courtesy of ICE .gov and YouTube)

“This man is by his own admission a member of a violent street gang and he was released back into the community.  Honoring a detainer request is not about politics, it is about keeping New York citizens safe,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York.

“ICE continues to welcome changes to the city’s current policy which is creating a potentially unsafe environment for its residents.”  

“ICE remains steadfast in solidifying its relationship with local law enforcement in the interest of public safety and national security.”

In fiscal year (FY) 2016, ICE removed or returned 240,255 individuals. Of this total, 174,923 were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States.

The remaining 65,332 were apprehended in the interior of the United States, and the vast majority were convicted criminals. 

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ERO works with the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the United States.

Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199.

They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.