Mayor de Blasio lashed out Tuesday at Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials after their agents scooped up a 19-year-old Salvadoran immigrant in Queens.
ICE officials issued a detainer order to the city Department of Correction in May, telling them to place a federal hold on Velasquez. But the city released Velasquez from Rikers Island on Thursday after he served nearly five months for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.
Later that day, ICE agents busted Velasquez, whom they described as a gang member and a potential threat to public safety. Velasquez was in the midst of being deported late Tuesday.
De Blasio cried foul.
“The detainee was released after he pled guilty and served his time for an offense that does not qualify as a violent or serious felony under the city’s local laws,” said Rosemary Boeglin, a mayoral spokeswoman.
ICE officials said Velasquez admitted to agents he was a member of the MS-13 gang. He was one of at least 41 people the agency detained around the city in the last month.
Velasquez entered the U.S. illegally, ICE officials said. And in November 2015, a judge ordered he be deported. His criminal history in the U.S. includes reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, and disorderly conduct, ICE officials said.