A Border Patrol tactical team is now in Boston helping ICE agents crack down on illegal immigrants in a renewed push to get criminals off the city’s streets, the Herald has learned.
The move comes as the Trump administration — along with U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling in Boston — call out sanctuary cities for not working closely with federal immigration agents. Boston’s Trust Act is a sanctuary city policy that bars city police from sharing information on deportation cases.
The tactical team normally patrols the U.S. border and will be deployed to other major sanctuary cities such as San Francisco, New York and Chicago.
“When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims,” Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence told the Associated Press.
ICE’s Boston office Friday also put out the names of five people they say are illegal immigrants who are wanted on serious charges, including rape, assault with a dangerous weapon and child pornography. ICE says all five were released by local authorities who ignored detainer requests from ICE.
Todd M. Lyons, Boston’s acting ICE chief, said the goal is to “let the public know wanted criminals are back out” on the streets.
“There’s nothing in the law standing in the way of local law enforcement cooperating with federal agents,” Lyons added Friday. “Let us build a criminal case so nobody can re-offend.”
Statewide, court and jail authorities are forbidden from holding people for ICE, if the suspected illegal immigrants would otherwise be let go; that rule comes from a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement that touted his city’s low crime states alongside Boston’s sanctuary-city policies, “Policies aimed at sowing division and fear are ultimately counterproductive and harmful not merely to the families and individuals who are targeted but to the broader community of which we are all a part.”
U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Boston, slammed the news Friday night, saying adding a SWAT-style team to local immigration enforcement “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.”
Pressley called on officials to “not comply or cooperate” with ICE.
ICE officials in Boston announced they are now seeking five fugitives:
– Mario Alexander Ochoa-Lemus, 27, from El Salvador, released in June from the Suffolk County House of Corrections even though he’d been arrested in May 2018 on charges of child rape, child pornography.
– Edson Martins, 38, of Cape Verde, arrested on charges of threatening to bomb/hijack, assault with a dangerous weapon and multiple charges of DUI. Brockton courts ignored ICE’s detainer request and released him.
– Jose Francisco Guaman Loja, 36, from Ecuador, arrested in 2019 for violating his probation after a conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon, ICE said. Guaman Loja had been deported three times before, but Brockton courts released him last month, ignoring another immigration detainer, according to ICE.
– Mohamed Daouda Diallo, from Niger, was arrested on charges of indecent assault and battery, but was released from Boston Municipal Court despite an ICE detainer request, officials said.
– Hector Garcia-Rios, from Colombia, who ICE says also overstayed his visa, was arrested in October on charges of assault with intent to rape, and indecent assault and battery. District court in Chelsea released him the following month, despite the detainer request from ICE.
ICE said it has active arrest warrants for all five.
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