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J'can facing ganja charges in NY arrested by ICE

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says a Jamaican is among five immigrants arrested in the New York-metropolitan area after detainers it had filed were ignored.

On Wednesday, ICE reported that Steven Anthony Beswick, 42, a Jamaican citizen, was arrested by local authorities on October 6.

Others arrested were nationals of India, Ecuador and Mexico .

While Beswick was in custody, ICE said it had lodged a detainer with the Westchester County Department of Corrections in New York.

Beswick, who has previous convictions in New York City for criminal possession of marijuana, posted bond and was released from custody on the same day.

But ICE said Beswick has been detained, pending a hearing before an immigration judge.

An immigration detainer is a tool used by ICE and other US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials when the agency identifies potentially deportable individuals who are held in jails or prisons nationwide.

Typically, detainers are issued by an authorised immigration official or local police officer designated to act as an immigration official under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the council said.

It said detainers instruct federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies (LEA) to hold individuals for up to 48 business hours beyond the time they otherwise would have been released; that is, when charges have been disposed of through a finding of guilt or innocence; when charges have been dropped; when bail has been secured; or when convicted individuals have served out their sentence.

“At-large criminal alien [immigrants] arrests are among the most dangerous types of enforcement actions ICE officers are engaged in on a daily basis,” said Thomas R Decker, field office director for ERO New York.

“These arrests also represent the greatest risk to the community. This level of unnecessary risk can be mitigated in many instances.

“As Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE will continue to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests to ensure the safety of the law-abiding citizens of these communities,” he said.

ICE says that so far this year its arrests comprise over 70 per cent convicted criminals.

Of the remaining individuals not convicted of a crime, ICE said about 70 per cent have either been charged with a crime, are an immigration fugitive, or have been removed from the United States and illegally re-entered – “reflecting the agency’s continued prioritisation of its limited enforcement resources on aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.”

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