A 92-year-old woman has paid the ultimate price for New York City's sanctuary policies that put the concerns of illegal immigrants ahead of the lives of American citizens.

The broken body of Maria Fuertes of Queens was found on an icy sidewalk at 2:14 a.m. by a passerby on January 6. Prosecutors say the woman had been sexually assaulted and strangled by an illegal alien. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz says "the victim sustained a fractured spine in two places, two rib fractures, bruising to her neck and other injuries and died as a result of the injuries."

Maria Fuertes was known in the Richmond Hill section for feeding stray cats and collecting cans during her late-night walks through the neighborhood, according to media reports.

A grand jury has indicted 21-year-old Reeaz Khan on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, first-degree attempted rape, first-degree sexual abuse, and tampering with physical evidence. Khan, an illegal from Guyana, was living in New York City on an expired tourist visa obtained in 2016.

Khan should never have been on the streets in the first place. He was arrested by New York City Police on November 27 and charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. The weapons charge alone should have prevented his release. Police ignored a request from ICE that Khan be detained and turned over to immigration officials. Khan was released back into the community.

New York's sanctuary policy prevented Khan from being deported. Breitbart says New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defends the policy saying police will only work with ICE if an illegal is convicted of a crime against an American. "I know something fundamental...we believe that it is right to hold the standard,” de Blasio told the local CBS affiliate.

The fact that the NYPD released a known illegal alien who they just charged with a violent offense is incomprehensible to me. That the alleged crime involved an illegal weapon makes their decision completely unacceptable.

Maria Fuertes survived this life for 92 years only to be taken down by a violent punk who is in this country illegally. Anyone who supports or defends sanctuary for illegal immigrants is complicit in Maria Fuertes' death. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD have the blood of Maria Fuertes on their hands.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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