News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, WEDS. Feb. 5, 2020: A day after his U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency asked a Brooklyn judge to force New York City to share information about an undocumented Guyanese immigrant who ‘murdered’ a 92-year-old woman after being released on bail, Donald Trump used the case in his State of the Union to reiterate his xenophobic diatribe of how immigrants are coming to the US and killing Americans and are being protected by sanctuary cities.
“In Sanctuary Cities, local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public, instead of handing them over to ICE to be safely removed,” Trump stated.
And zoning in on the case, he added: “Just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the Sanctuary City of New York was charged with the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman. The killer had been previously arrested for assault, but under New York’s sanctuary policies, he was set free. If the city had honored ICE’s detainer request, his victim would be alive today.”
The case relates to Guyanese national Reeaz Khan, who came to the US on a visitor’s visa and overstayed. He is now in Rikers Island, accused of killing and sexually assaulting Maria Fuertas, a 92-year-old Queens woman who was out buying cat food at the time of her attack in Richmond Hill, Queens, NY. He was caught on surveillance video at the scene of the crime and identified by his own brother.
Weeks before the murder, Khan was arrested on weapons charges but released without bail by local law enforcement officials, despite a detainer that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it sent to the NYPD.
ICE had issued a detainer for Khan to the NYPD in November 2019 after he was arrested for assaulting his father and criminal possession of a weapon, asking that the city notify the agency if and when he was released. Khan had already overstayed his visitor’s visa, which expired in March 2017.
Federal prosecutors on Monday asked a judge in Brooklyn to compel New York City to cooperate with immigration authorities in sharing information about Khan.
“This information is needed to assist in determining whether Khan is removable … and whether he is subject to detention,” the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York wrote in court papers.
The court filing accuses Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration of ignoring subpoenas from Immigration and Customs Enforcement demanding information about Khan.
ICE claims city officials could be held in contempt of court if they disregard a federal judge’s order to comply with the subpoenas.
But City officials say the subpoenas lack a legitimate purpose and called them a ‘political stunt’ that seeks information that ICE could obtain through other means.
Mayor de Blasio has accused ICE of employing ‘scare tactics.’
Khan is being held on Rikers Island without bail pending his trial.