Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, with their Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) division, arrested an undocumented Mexican immigrant on Friday. He had been released from custody in New York City, despite the filing of a detainer with local authorities, which was not honored even though the man has several convictions for sexual abuse misdemeanors.
The 36-year-old, Andres Flores Lopez, had entered the US at an undetermined location and date without inspection. His two convictions occurred in December 2012 and May 2014. In April 2014, an immigration detainer was lodged on him by the Department of Corrections in New York City by ERO officers, while he was in prison at the Correctional Facility on Riker’s Island. But he was released from custody in December that year, without ICE notification, despite Lopez being on the sex offender’s register.
Thomas R Decker, the ERO New York’s field office director, says it is “unfortunate” that ICE still has to do the work to keep convicted immigrant criminals off the street because cities are refusing to honor detainers and are allowing such individuals back into American communities.
Lopez is currently in detention, awaiting removal proceedings. As many as 240,255 individuals were removed or returned by ICE in the 2016 fiscal year. 174,923 of them were arrested while trying to gain illegal re-entry to the US. The other 65,332, most of whom were convicted criminals, were arrested inside the US.