Posted on October 19, 2020

ICE Criticizes ‘Sanctuary’ Policies After NYPD Releases Alleged Leader of Mexican Street Gang

Fernie Ortiz, KRQE, October 12, 2020

Immigration authorities criticized New York City officials for the recent release of a “violent street gang member” from jail, according to statements from Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued Wednesday.

On Sept. 11, the New York Police Department arrested 25-year-old Fernando Olea-Prado, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico and self-described leader of the Sureños, or Sur 13, street gang. Police booked him on three counts of robbery, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and possession of stolen property.

ICE officials subsequently lodged an ICE detainer on Olea-Prado, arguing that he had been removed from the country twice in 2013.


As is the case with anyone who had charges dropped, were released on bail or recognizance, were acquitted, or completed a jail or prison sentence, the NYPD released Olea-Prado.

It took less than a month before agents from ICE’s Enforcement Removal Operations arrested Olea-Prado on Oct. 1 in Corona, N.Y.

In announcing the arrest, the ERO field office director in New York questioned city policies that bar local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE.

“Where is the concern for the safety of the citizens that these local politicians were elected to protect?” Thomas R. Decker said in a statement. “It’s reprehensible that local politicians passed a law that allows a twice-removed, violent street gang member to be released from custody to commit more violence in this city.”


In New York City, the NYPD has declined ICE detainers for years.

Data published on the NYPD website shows that from Oct. 1, 2016, to July 30, 2020, the department received a total of 8,333 detainers and declined all of them. There were, however, some instances in which New York officials shared information with federal immigration authorities.

The New York City detainer law and policy went into effect in 2014. It stipulates that officials can only turn over people convicted of violent and serious offenses within the past five years, and those who are a possible match on the terrorist watch list. {snip}