On Feb. 26, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced the sentencing of Juan Ramon-Vasquez, a previously deported Honduran who had been convicted of repeatedly raping a child while living illegally in the sanctuary city of Philadelphia.
Ramon-Vasquez, who was deported in 2009, exemplifies the serious danger presented to the community when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers are not honored.
After returning illegally to the U.S., Ramon-Vasquez landed in a Philadelphia prison, but ICE’s request to hold him was ignored and the criminal alien was released. The end result was the repeated rape a young child, a crime which garnered him a sentence of 8 to 20 years in state prison. Ramon-Vasquez received an additional sentence of 21 months is for immigration violations.
“After the City let this criminal loose on the streets of Philadelphia, Ramon-Vasquez repeatedly raped an innocent child. If the ICE detainer had been honored by local law enforcement, this crime never would have happened, and the victim would have been spared horrendous physical and mental trauma,” said McSwain.
He told criminals like Ramon-Vasquez to take note, stating that “unlike the Philadelphia government, we are not on your side.”
Pro-amnesty politicians and activists like promote sanctuary policies in warm and fuzzy terms like “welcoming” or “embracing” of immigrants, but the evidence shows they pose a real and direct threat to the public safety of all residents – immigrant and native-born alike.
This week when ICE arrested three criminal aliens in western Michigan who had been released from the custody of the Kent County Sheriff’s office despite active immigration detainers being in place.
Kent County only adopted a policy to refuse to honor ICE detainers in January – an action that was taken in response to the mistaken detention of a U.S. Marine veteran.
Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young rightly called for a review of the ICE detention, but she went too far in enacting a policy preventing officers from honoring detainer requests, which she said stemmed from “concern” about the reasons for Jilmar Ramos-Gomez’ detention.
So, less than two months after the policy went into effect, three criminal illegal aliens were released onto the streets without regard to the threat they posed.
On Feb. 28, ICE announced the arrests, including one Mexican national who charged with drunk driving and who had prior arrests for battery, battery 2nd, fraud-false info to law enforcement, felony-reentry after deportation, according to ICE.
A second was an illegal alien from Honduras who’s been arrested for assault with intent to murder and was convicted [IM1] days earlier of assault with a dangerous weapon – a felony. Nonetheless, under the new policy, he was released.
As policymakers consider changing policy on ICE detainers, perhaps they should first review the findings from an Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) investigation which showed California law enforcement agencies have refused to honor a sizeable number of immigration detainer requests for illegal aliens charged with serious felonies.
For example, over a 27 month period ending on December 31, 2017, California police and sheriffs’ departments refused to honor over 5,600 immigration holds, including over 3,400 which were classified by ICE as threat level 1 and 2 offenses. These included, but were not limited to, homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, drugs, burglary, and fraud.
As U.S. Attorney McSwain said, sanctuary policies threaten public safety and there is mounting evidence to prove it.