Canine-killer Zheheng Feng, who slaughtered his girlfriend’s pooch in a match of rage and dumped it within the rubbish chute final yr, pled responsible this week to aggravated animal cruelty.
Although at first he claimed he stabbed the little lapdog out of self-defense, he in the end agreed to a felony cost, which can carry a 30-day jail sentence.
As a noncitizen on a piece visa, Feng additionally faces deportation to his native China, in line with Choose Laura Ward, who indicated that the lenient sentence — termed a “sweetheart deal” by Feng’s lawyer Todd Spodek — was pushed by the truth that Feng faces everlasting exclusion from america.
However not so quick — deporting felony aliens isn’t the job of native felony courtroom judges. It’s a federal matter, and usually includes Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has been banned from working within the metropolis’s jails since 2014. Beneath New York Metropolis sanctuary regulation, signed and endlessly praised by Mayor de Blasio, no metropolis company can detain anybody on behalf of ICE, or present the feds with data concerning a felony’s deal with, crime or date of launch, with out a warrant. And even then provided that the miscreant has been discovered responsible of a “violent or severe crime” previously 5 years.
Absolutely stabbing a pet to loss of life qualifies. Psychologists and criminologists have lengthy acknowledged that violence towards animals is a dependable predictor of violence towards individuals. However aggravated cruelty to animals, although a felony punishable by as much as two years in jail, isn’t included on town’s record of crimes that advantage cooperation with federal immigration authorities. As a sanctuary metropolis, New York protects animal abusers from deportation.
Feng’s lawyer says his consumer will self-deport after his sentence is over. But when he alters his thoughts, New York will struggle to let him keep.
Anybody who has tuned into one in all de Blasio’s radio appearances or press conferences has certainly heard him tout an inventory of “170 crimes” that can set off metropolis cooperation with ICE. “Should you’re convicted of those crimes, then we do cooperate,” the mayor informed Brian Lehrer in December. “These are severe and violent crimes . . . If somebody’s convicted, we do cooperate with ICE.”
True — murderers, arsonists and rapists who’re needed by the feds for elimination from the nation can be detained by town upon official request. However dog-killers, insurance coverage and welfare fraudsters and people who find themselves responsible of grand larceny within the first diploma all obtain sanctuary in New York Metropolis.
Feng has volunteered to go residence to China as quickly as he finishes his time on Rikers, which ought to solely quantity to 2 weeks, although others who dedicated the identical crime have gotten sentences of a yr or extra. His lawyer guarantees that Feng is “100 % leaving,” as a result of his work authorization has been canceled and he has no authorized standing within the nation. However there are many individuals in New York Metropolis who don’t have any authorized standing to be right here, and no plans to depart — and a few of them have felony convictions, too.
Suppose Feng decides that he desires to remain in New York in spite of everything, and get a job working off the books or with an simply obtainable stolen Social Safety quantity. No immigration brokers can be ready for him when he will get out of jail, and town is forbidden from alerting ICE as to what he’s as much as. Feng might simply take the bus residence and resume his life as a New Yorker, identical to everybody else.
So as to add insult to harm, supposing ICE did meet up with Feng and tried to deport him, metropolis taxpayers can be obliged to pay for his protection in immigration courtroom. Owing to a deal struck between de Blasio and former Metropolis Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, town covers the authorized invoice for anybody in elimination proceedings in space immigration courts.
The mayor needed to exempt individuals convicted of crimes on his record of “severe and violent” felonies, whereas Mark-Viverito needed everybody, together with murderers, to get a free lawyer. In the long run, a rich donor supplied cash to make up the distinction, although it wouldn’t matter for somebody like Feng, as animal abusers aren’t severe sufficient for a sanctuary metropolis to fret about.
So whereas Feng has volunteered to depart, that may be a matter of his personal free selection. As a metropolis that cherishes immigrants, it’s less than New Yorkers to resolve whether or not or not deportable aliens who kill canines get to stay amongst us. Our job is just to welcome him again amongst us, ought to he resolve to remain.