Trump administration deploys elite Border Patrol tactical units to 10 largest sanctuary cities

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The granddaughter of a 92-year-old Queens woman who police say was murdered by an illegal immigrant who was free without bail has slammed New York’s sanctuary policies in an emotional speech.

‘The tragedy in all of this is the fact that this could have been avoided, had there been no sanctuary law,’ Daria Ortiz said on Thursday at a National Border Patrol Council event, where President Donald Trump had invited her to speak. 

‘The tragedy is my grandmother is not ever going to be here again,’ she continued, struggling to compose herself and visibly emotional. 

Ortiz said that her grandmother, Maria Fuertes, immigrated to the U.S. legally from the Dominican Republic, and was a ‘shining example of when people come legally to this country, work hard, and do the right thing and are law-abiding citizens.’ 

Police say that 21-year-old Reeaz Khan, a Guyanese national living in the U.S. illegally, savagely raped and murdered Fuertes on the street near her home on January 6.

Daria Ortiz, the granddaughter of 92 year old Maria Fuertes, who was raped and murdered in New York, delivers remarks to National Border Patrol Council Members on Friday

Daria Ortiz, the granddaughter of 92 year old Maria Fuertes, who was raped and murdered in New York, delivers remarks to National Border Patrol Council Members on Friday

Reeaz Khan, 21

Murder victim Maria Fuertes

Illegal immigrant Reeaz Khan, 21, (left) walked free without bail six weeks before he was arrested again and charged in the horrific murder of Maria Fuertes (right)

At the time of the murder, Khan was free because he had been been released without bail on a pending weapons charge six weeks earlier, in spite of an immigration detainer that ICE says it sent the NYPD demanding that he be turned over for deportation.  

‘The system not only failed our family but it failed our city,’ said Ortiz, choking back tears. ‘Unfortunately my grandmother had to be the example of why something like this horrific crime should never happen.’

Khan was arrested soon after the murder after police viewed surveillance video from near the murder scene, and is now being held without bond on Rikers Island. 

New York City is one of many Democrat-controlled jurisdictions that forbids police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, including turning over criminal suspects to ICE for deportation. 

Meanwhile, reports emerged on Friday that the Trump administration is deploying highly trained officers to boost arrests of unauthorized immigrants in a number of cities, the latest move in a battle against localities that adopt ‘sanctuary’ policies to protect them from deportation.

Members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) will be among the officers deployed to cities to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. 

They will be sent to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, New Jersey, CBP spokesman Lawrence Payne said in a statement on Friday.

BORTAC agents undergo a ‘grueling’ training program designed to ‘mirror aspects’ of U.S. Special Operation Forces courses, according to details about the program published on the CBP website. The unit was launched in 1984 in response to rioting at immigration detention facilities.

The Trump administration is deploying highly trained BORTAC agents (above in file photo) to boost arrests of unauthorized immigrants in a number of sanctuary cities

The Trump administration is deploying highly trained BORTAC agents (above in file photo) to boost arrests of unauthorized immigrants in a number of sanctuary cities

BORTAC agents undergo a 'grueling' training program designed to 'mirror aspects' of U.S. Special Operation Forces courses. A BORTAC agent is seen above guarding the border

BORTAC agents undergo a ‘grueling’ training program designed to ‘mirror aspects’ of U.S. Special Operation Forces courses. A BORTAC agent is seen above guarding the border

Scores of Democrat-controlled cities and counties have adopted policies to limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, making them a target for Republican President Donald Trump, who has made immigration a centerpiece of his re-election campaign.

The move to boost ICE support in the targeted cities, first reported by the New York Times, marks the latest escalation in the administration’s fight against these localities and comes just days after the Department of Justice filed lawsuits against the state of New Jersey and King County, Washington, where Seattle is located.

The Department of Homeland Security said last week it would bar New Yorkers from obtaining new and renewal Global Entry passes and from participating in three programs that permit faster travel between the United States, Canada and Mexico, which could affect hundreds of thousands of travelers.

‘ICE is utilizing CBP to supplement enforcement activity in response to the resource challenges stemming from sanctuary city policies,’ ICE acting Director Matthew T. Albence said. 

Scores of Democrat-controlled cities and counties have adopted policies to limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, making them a target for Trump

Scores of Democrat-controlled cities and counties have adopted policies to limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, making them a target for Trump

The BORTAC agents will be sent to New York (above), Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, New Jersey

The BORTAC agents will be sent to New York (above), Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, New Jersey

Agents with the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) hold their weapons next to an armored vehicle ahead of exercises in Mission, Texas, November 8, 2018

Agents with the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) hold their weapons next to an armored vehicle ahead of exercises in Mission, Texas, November 8, 2018

‘As we have noted for years, in jurisdictions where we are not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, our officers are forced to make at-large arrests of criminal aliens who have been released into communities,’ he said.

The deployment will run from February through May, the New York Times reported, citing a CBP email.

The move drew criticism from some, including Ayanna Pressley, a Democratic congresswoman from Massachusetts whose district includes Boston.

‘Let us be clear, this move has nothing to do with public safety, but rather serves only to further the Trump Administration´s agenda to intimidate and retaliate against cities that uphold the dignity and humanity of our immigrant neighbors,’ she said in an emailed statement. ‘We will not stand for this.’



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