NEW YORK – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged 10 immigration detainers during the past two years on an illegally present Dominican national after he was arrested on 10 separate occasions by the New York Police Department (NYPD). After each arrest, he was released into the community to re-offend with active immigration detainers in place.
“Jhonny Alejandro Soto-Ubaldo is one of many examples of how New York’s sanctuary city policies place the safety of the residents at risk. Their willful uncooperative nature provides criminals such as Soto-Ubaldo the opportunity to re-offend,” said Tony H. Pham, senior official performing the duties of the director for ICE.
Soto-Ubaldo was first arrested by the NYPD in June 2018 on local charges in Queens. At that time, ICE lodged an immigration detainer, but he was released without notification to ICE. Less than two months later, he was rearrested, and ICE lodged another immigration detainer, and he was once again, released into the community to reoffend. The following year, ICE lodged six additional detainers on the Soto-Ubaldo after his arrests for crimes between April and October 2019, and he was released each time, even though active immigration detainers were in place.
ICE also lodged immigration detainers with the NYPD, which were not honored, after Soto-Ubaldo’s arrest for unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property in March 2020 and following his arrest for criminal mischief and assault in May 2020.
In September 2020, he was arrested on federal firearms charges and is currently in U.S. Marshals custody; ICE has an active immigration detainer lodged with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. ICE will take custody of Soto-Ubaldo following the resolution of firearms charges, which are pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
“What makes this case so frustrating is that local law enforcement failed to honor 10 detainers, despite Soto-Ubaldo’s lengthy criminal history. How can local politicians – in good conscience – say they’re protecting their constituents when they pass laws that release criminals back into our communities? Detainer non-cooperation threatens public safety. It’s fortunate for the residents of New York City, that the subject is now being held on federal charges, and the ICE detainer will finally be honored,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations New York Field Office.
In addition to the pending federal charges, Soto-Ubaldo also faces pending charges in Queens and Nassau Counties for assault, harassment, criminal mischief, grand larceny, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a firearm.
He was previously featured on ICE.gov as a public safety threat to the local community after the NYPD failed to honor multiple ICE detainers.
ICE relies on the exchange of information with its law enforcement agency partners to access foreign-born inmates at local, state, and federal facilities, and the use of detainers as part of its public safety mission. In many cases, these individuals pose a demonstrable threat to communities.
By lodging detainers against those individuals, ICE makes every effort to ensure that removable aliens are turned over to ICE custody after their criminal detention rather than being released into the community where many abscond or reoffend.
Over the last fiscal year, the ICE ERO New York Field Office lodged 7,526 detainers against individuals for crimes including homicide, robbery, assault, sexual assault, weapons violations, and driving under the influence. The subjects of the detainers accounted for 17,873 criminal convictions, and 6,500 criminal charges.
For more information about declined ICE detainers in the New York City area, visit https://www.ice.gov/spotlight/declined-detainers-newyork.
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