Massapequan Observer - Agreement Reached on Immigration Raids
By Joe Scotchie
Officials with both the Nassau County Police Department and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have come to an agreement on how to carry out joint illegal immigrant gang raids in Nassau County.
Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford) recently conducted a meeting with Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey and John Clark, the director of operations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to work out the agreement.
According to Rep. King, the meeting was beneficial in that both Clark and Police Commissioner Mulvey agreed that the raids were necessary and that, in the future, both sides would work closely with each other.
More specifically, both sides agreed on the need to communicate directly with each other when an ICE raid is pending or planned.
"Once the meeting got going, both sides realized that they needed each other," Rep. King said. "The ICE needs intelligence on the street level knowledge that the Nassau County police have."
The raids in question, are, as noted, directed towards suspected illegal immigrant gang members. However, Rep. King said that arrests can be made on suspected gang associates and whatever illegal immigrants who are also apprehended during the raids. Rep. King's office could not estimate the illegal immigration population in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
A disagreement between county and federal officials occurred after the ICE conducted raids in Nassau County communities on both Sept. 24 and 26.
After the raids took place, Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi and Police Commissioner Mulvey called for a federal investigation into the tactics and practices used in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during those two raids.
In letters addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and other federal officials, Suozzi and Mulvey said the raids "lacked current intel."
On three occasions, ICE officials failed to check the names and addresses of their arrest targets against the Nassau Police Department's Gang Intelligence Files - resulting in wrong residences raided; and in another instance, ICE sought a 28-year-old using a photograph from when the defendant was 7, Suozzi and Mulvey stated.
After the county's displeasure was made public, Rep. King offered to broker an agreement between the two parties.
Congressman King said that it is crucial for the safety of the public that county and federal law enforcement agencies cooperate and work closely on these raids and saluted "these two outstanding law enforcement agencies for making this agreement."