Despite an immigration detainer and an arrest warrant from a judge, officials in sanctuary New York City released a drug dealer onto the streets. Immigration agents moved quickly to arrest the previously deported Dominican national before he could commit other crimes.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) officers arrested Joselin Medina, 58, at the Bronx Criminal Court in New York on June 16. Jail officials released the convicted criminal and wanted fugitive on a bond on June 15. Three days earlier, ERO officers filed an immigration detainer and a federal criminal arrest warrant with the City, which then chose to ignore the warrant, according to information obtained from ICE.
Sanctuary city officials frequently use the argument that compliance with immigration detainers is voluntary and they would be happy to cooperate if immigration officers filed a warrant.
“Even a federal criminal warrant issued by a United States Magistrate is not enough for the city of New York to turn over a convicted felon to ICE. If only New York had cooperated with ICE instead of releasing Medina to the street, there would have been no need to go to a courthouse to locate and arrest him,” New York ERO Field Office Director Thomas R. Decker said in a written statement. “It is unfathomable that New York would create such a public safety risk for the sake of political expediency.”
Medina reportedly entered the U.S. illegally at an unknown date and location, officials stated. In 1995 he adjusted his status to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) after marrying a U.S. citizen. In 2001, he applied for admission to the U.S. as an LPR at the international airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, his August 2000 conviction prevented immediate approval of his application. Officials gave Medina an appearance date for an immigration inspection hearing which he failed to appear.
In 2002, Medina encountered immigration officials at JFK Airport in New York. Officials detained Medina at the Middlesex County Jail in New Jersey. About one month later, an immigration judge ordered his removal, and ERO officers deported him to the Dominican Republic. He then found his way, illegally, back to the U.S.
Medina now faces federal charges of illegal reentry after removal. If convicted, the Dominican national could spend up to 20 years in prison.