NYC Illegal Immigrant Squatters Arrested by Police Were Previously Caught and Released at Southern Border

NYC Illegal Immigrant Squatters Arrested by Police Were Previously Caught and Released at Southern Border
Illegal immigrants line up at a remote U.S. Border Patrol processing center after crossing the U.S.–Mexico border, in Lukeville, Ariz., on Dec. 7, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Eight illegal immigrant squatters recently arrested by law enforcement in New York City were previously apprehended at the southern border and then released into the country, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

In late March, the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested the illegal immigrants who were squatting at an NYC home after officers received reports of a man with a gun. After officers arrived at the scene, they found guns, ammunition, magazines, and drugs on the premises.

A 7-year-old child was also found in the house. In total, eight illegal immigrants were arrested and charged with criminal possession of a gun and controlled substance as well as acting in a manner harmful to a child.

Six out of the eight individuals were released by the court without bail. Later, the ICE took action against the illegal immigrants.

Officials from ICE arrested three out of the eight illegal immigrants and put detainers on four. The remaining one illegal immigrant was on the loose, officials said.

ICE detainers are lodged against individuals arrested on criminal charges and who the agency believes can be removed from the country as non-citizens.

Officials from the ICE said that the eight illegal immigrants were from Venezuela.

Out of the three illegal immigrants arrested by the ICE, one of them, Hector Desousa-Villalta, 24, is suspected of having attempted a murder.

According to the agency, Mr. Desousa-Villalta was arrested in August 2023 by the Yonkers Police Department for crimes of assault, intent to cause serious injury with a weapon, and murder in the second degree. However, the case fell through.

The second person arrested by ICE officials, Yoessy Pino Castillo, 20, was taken into custody by Texas border officials in May last year and released. The third individual, Yojairo Martinez, 42, was arrested by border agents in El Paso in September 2022 and later released.

ICE officials confirmed that the three illegal immigrants are in custody while their deportation proceedings move forward.

Squatting in NYC

Alfred Munoz, a neighbor who lives in the area as the NYC home where the illegal immigrants squatted, told the New York Post that the illegal immigrants took over the house one day and refused to leave the property.

“The landlord wanted to evict them, but the NYPD told him no,” he said. The neighbors lodged eight complaints over a three-week period about illegal immigrants blocking the road or the sidewalk. However, police took no action until late March when they arrived at the house following the report of a gun-wielding man.

New York state offers squatters certain rights in terms of the property they live in, which is also known as adverse possession.

These rights refer to “the general legal principles that allow squatters to gain ownership of a property through a long period of possession, even without the owner’s permission,” according to property management software company Innago.

Squatter’s rights are activated once a person lives on a New York state property for 10 continuous years. However, this time limit is reduced to just 30 days in the case of New York City.

Last month, ICE arrested Leonel Moreno, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, who made TikTok videos offering tips on how to illegally come into the United States and reside as squatters.

“If a house is not inhabited, we can seize it,” he said in one video while claiming that some of his African friends have “already taken about seven homes.”

Venezuelan Crossings

The arrest of eight Venezuelan nationals comes as illegal immigration into the United States from the South American country has surged in recent years.

According to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there were a total of 50,499 nationwide encounters between border patrol and illegal immigrants from Venezuela in fiscal year 2021.

This jumped to 189,520 in fiscal 2022, and then to 334,914 in fiscal 2023. In the first five months of fiscal 2024, encounters have already exceeded 178,000.

In September 2023, more Venezuelans than Mexicans were arrested by border patrol for trying to illegally cross into the United States, the first time this happened.

“We are continually engaging with domestic and foreign partners to address historic hemispheric migration, including large migrant groups traveling on freight trains, and to enforce consequences including by preparing for direct repatriations to Venezuela,” Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller said at the time.

The same month, the Biden administration announced that almost half a million illegal Venezuelan nationals already in the United States are eligible to file for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

A TPS designation allows illegal immigrants to work and be protected from deportation for a period of usually 18 months.

During a rally last month, former President Donald Trump slammed President Joe Biden’s open border policies.

“Biden’s conduct on our border is by any definition a conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America,” the former president said. “He talks about democracy but he’s a danger to democracy.”

President Trump suggested that the conspiracy was to allow numerous illegal immigrants into America, legalize them, and turn these people into Democrat voters.

From The Epoch Times

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