The acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) slammed New York City’s leaders and their sanctuary city policies following the arrest of an illegal alien in the death of a 92-year-old Queens woman.

Matthew Albence, the acting ICE director, during a press conference on Friday, Jan. 17, said it was “unbelievable” he had to come to New York to “plead” for cooperation from the city’s authorities when it came to cases involving fugitive illegal aliens.

“Time and time again, our efforts and our warnings of the disastrous consequences of non-cooperation—and even outright interference, have gone unheeded, resulting in tragedies such as this one,” Albence said.

Albence blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s sanctuary city policy for the murder of Maria Fuestes, who was allegedly assaulted physically and sexually by Reeaz Khan, an illegal alien from Guyana.

Albence said that ICE lodged a detainer against Khan after he had been arrested by the New York Police Department in November 2019 for allegedly assaulting his father, but Khan was released from custody because of New York City’s sanctuary policies.

Roughly two months later, Khan attacked Fuentes who was walking home around midnight on Jan. 6. She died from her wounds four days later. Khan was arrested and has been detained on murder and attempted rape charges. ICE officials have issued another detainer against him.

Albence said the NYPD only complied with 10 out of the “thousands and thousands” of immigration detainers issued by ICE. He warned that more violent crimes would continue if the city did not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Chad Wolf, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acting secretary echoed Albence’s statement during a Friday appearance on “Fox & Friends,” saying “It’s absolutely disgusting. The politicians and jurisdictions there are certainly playing politics with public safety.”

“What I would say is it’s a completely preventable tragedy. Had they honored the ICE detainer, this would never have happened. So if they would have cooperated with ICE officials, the individual never would have been let out, wouldn’t have committed this crime and we wouldn’t even be talking about this. So if they would just cooperate in the first place—wouldn’t even be an issue,” Wolf said.

In a statement, de Blasio spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein dismissed Albence’s complaints, saying, “Fear hate and attempts to divide are signatures of the Trump administration” and New York is the safest big city in America because of its policies.

De Blasio said NYC will cooperate with federal officials if Khan is convicted, stressing this cooperation would only be in “accordance in with local law.”