Another Administration Failure Leads to More Deaths

A police crime scene tape close-upFive individuals were found dead last week after a 21-year-old illegal alien from Honduras, Johnny Josue Sanchez, set fire to an abandoned Westlake, California, building outside of Los Angeles. Killing five homeless individuals who had been squatting in the building at the time of the blaze, Sanchez, who was also homeless, allegedly started the fire to seek revenge on another transient who had taken up in Sanchez’ part of the building.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Sanchez was first arrested by U.S. Border Patrol in 2012 for unlawfully entering the country. Officials said they released him a week later after agents determined that he had no previous immigration violations or criminal history. Interestingly, according to ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice, Sanchez was placed under supervision and ordered to report regularly to immigration authorities, though for “unknown reasons” the administration never initiated deportation proceedings against him.

Without being subsequently placed in deportation proceedings or a detention facility, Kice said Sanchez stopped reporting to immigration officials in August 2014, and added that the agency’s policy is “to focus on individuals who pose a public safety threat” and not search for those who fail to report unless they have a criminal background or a history of repeated illegal entry.

Unsurprisingly, Sanchez showed up on law enforcements’ radar again last January, when the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) arrested him on suspicion of domestic violence. Not being a priority for ICE, and given the LAPD’s sanctuary policy, Sanchez was released back onto the streets. The LAPD then picked him up again in May and June on suspicion of drug possession. Again, according to news reports, ICE did not seek an immigration hold. In fact, his most recent encounter with law enforcement occurred just days before the June 13 fire, but of course he was released again by authorities.

Sanchez now faces murder and attempted murder charges, while neither ICE nor the LAPD face any consequences. Though blame must be placed on Sanchez, the illegal alien who chose to enter the U.S. unlawfully and proceeded to commit acts of domestic violence, drug possession, and arson, at what point will sanctuary cities such as Los Angeles be held accountable for encouraging illegal aliens to live in its borders? More importantly, at what point will the Obama administration be held responsible for turning a blind-eye to illegal aliens and refusing to enforce the immigration laws as Congress intended?

The Obama administration could have prevented last week’s deaths. They could have proceeded with deportation proceedings when Sanchez was first apprehended in 2012, or sought custody on any one of the several occasions on which Sanchez was arrested by the LAPD. Sadly, tragedies such as this will continue to take place until a new president comes in who will finally enforce the laws and challenge state and local sanctuary policies. Perhaps if the deaths were of individuals with more money or political clout, our leaders would finally listen?

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    One of the victim was my 18 year old daughter that was not homeless at all but was with her bf trying to find his parent which was homeless, they just got there 3 hours before their death….and yes we are going after all parties that let this scum stay in this country.

    • avatar

      Keep repeating the same nonsense. Only the federal government can deport people and they aren’t doing it, due to the policies of this administration. Local authorities can’t deport anyone.

    • avatar
      Laurie Spencer on

      Yes it is. The federal law is No sanctuary cities. Obama adm defies all the laws. The obama adm makes the polices that we are seeing. Ice’s hands are tied. The border Patrols hands are tied. Are vets overseas hands are tied. As obama is doing everything to let criminals out the front door. Please

  2. avatar

    These lowlife brown nosers in OUR government are the one’s that should be behind bars, how many more tragedies have to occur until these scumbag politicians are held accountable, for their blatant abdication of duty and utter spinelessness?

  3. avatar

    Sadly, it is true that because it was homeless people who died, people without power and influence, and also most likely without family members to lobby the government in their memory, their deaths will go unnoticed by the Washington power brokers who are responsible for our open borders immigration policy.

    After all they live in gated communities, have armed guards, are driven around in armored limousines, and have home security systems. Why worry about how open borders affects those homeless Americans they are always having to step over on their way to the next fundraiser?

  4. avatar

    Sounds like the kind of fine young man Hillary wants to be a citizen. Over the weekend Trump got the usual press beating for saying Muslim immigrants “don’t want to assimilate”. Naturally there were a dozen “spokesmen” stepping forward to say he’s wrong.

    But if you want to examine the facts, there is a company in Wisconsin called Ariens that makes lawn and garden equipment and had employed a large number of Muslim refugees. The company had always had a policy of 2 ten minute breaks but the Muslim employees wanted three breaks to pray. The company tried to accommodate them but found it too disruptive to the business, so employees were told take two breaks or no job. Some continued to take three and and in February were fired and another 14 resigned. Naturally CAIR has filed a federal religious discrimination complaint. A couple years ago Muslim cab drivers at the Minneapolis airport wanted the right to refuse passengers with liquor, but were told you must pick up everyone. So much for assimilating.

    Trump has also been called a racist for calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”. Obviously a joke, but the media never seems to get around to why he does that. For years she proclaimed herself Native American. In a N. A. cookbook in the 80s she proclaimed herself Cherokee. For a decade she listed herself as a “minority” in the American Association of Law Schools Directory.

    The problem is at most she is 1/32 Native American, if even that. No Indian tribe recognizes her as a member. Basically she’s a fake but the media won’t note that when Trump goes after her. Looks like Britain may not leave the EU. Another nation committing cultural suicide.

    • avatar

      Just to add detail on Warren, the Native American cookbook was Pow Wow Chow. Her “recipe”, that old N. A. favorite “Cold Omelets with Crab Meat” is almost word for word a recipe by a chef, Pierre Franey, whose own recipe was published in the NY Times on August 22, 1979.