Colorado – Colorado sanctuary state laws are again coming under fire amidst the arrest of an undocumented migrant on attempted murder charges who was recently freed from prison.
According to Breitbart News, “Osmani Garces-Ortiz, a 37-year-old an illegal alien from Cuba, was released by the sanctuary jurisdiction of Arapahoe County, Colorado, on October 28, despite the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency requesting he be held so they could take over custody.”
An illegal alien in the Sanctuary State of Colorado has been re-arrested for attempted murder less than a month after he was freed from prison. https://t.co/6VY4dA3KuB
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 2, 2019
Garces-Ortiz was originally arrested and held on drug related and trespassing charges. He was released from prison on October 28th, and less than one month later he was re-arrested for attempted murder charges from an incident where allegedly another person was stabbed. Had Garces-Ortiz been held as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement had requested, the incident in question could have been avoided.
Osmani Garces-Ortiz was just arrested for attempted murder
It would have never happened if a sanctuary county in Colorado had turned him over to ICE instead of releasing him from prison onto the streets
RT if we should defund all sanctuary states, counties, and cities!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) December 2, 2019
An ICE spokesperson spoke to The Sentinel and stated,
“As ICE has repeatedly made clear, when local jurisdictions refuse to support immigration enforcement, they betray their duty to protect public safety.”
Which is clear in this particular case.
Sources indicate that ICE requested a detainer be placed on Garces-Ortiz prior to his posting of a bond in October. However, it is the policy of the Sheriff’s office not to hold inmates for extra time at the request of ICE which is in accordance with the new law that was enacted in May of this year.
According to Breitbart News, “Earlier this year, Colorado’s Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed into law a sanctuary state measure that effectively prohibits all jurisdictions in the state from cooperating with ICE agents. Instead, the state law requires that counties shield criminal illegal aliens from arrest and deportation.”
ICE official John Fabbricatore made a statement saying in part,
“Because of this law, our ICE office was not notified when a criminal alien was released on bail, and this alien is now charged with attempted murder. How many more terrible crimes will be committed, because lawmakers put political agendas before public safety?”
However according to Fox 31 News the sheriff’s office explained that their department
“followed protocol and emailed ICE more than two hours before Garces-Ortiz was to be released from jail. ICE has a facility two miles away from the jail, but no agents went to the jail lobby to detain him or ever responded to the email.”
Other sources have revealed that this is the same procedure the sheriff’s department has followed since 2014. Chief Vince Lane reported that that
“at the time of the inmate’s release from custody a legal reason to continue to hold the inmate did not exist.”
ICE Denver fired back at the sheriff’s office in statement that was released last week, that even though an email was sent to them about the immediate release of Garces-Ortiz,
“a notification that an alien is about to be released to the lobby is not a functional way to ensure transfer of custody.”
According to Yahoo News, “Detainer requests typically ask law enforcement agencies to give ICE at least 48 hours’ notice before a suspected immigrant is released from a jail — or to hold the person for up to 48 hours after they would normally be released.”
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The former Acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan appeared on Fox & Friends over the weekend and stated that the release of this individually was purely “political” and not a “legal” reason. Homan explained to the hosts,
“Sanctuary city policies [are] just ridiculous,” he said. “Here’s a person who was in the custody of local officials because he was arrested for a crime, so they chose to lock him up and put him in a jail cell, and ICE notified them: ‘We want him before you release him.’ And, it didn’t happen. They didn’t honor a detainer. And I’ve read the story.” Homan stated, “They were saying, ‘Well, there’s a legal issue.’ There is no legal issue. The detainer’s honored by most law enforcement agencies across the country. This is a political decision — not a legal decision.”
According to sources, Osmani Garces-Ortiz, who is a Cuban national, entered the U.S. illegally in 2008 using a boat near Key West, Florida. According to ICE, he was granted an immigration waiver and released, however this waiver expired in 2012.
He did apply for legal residency. ICE explained that Garces-Ortiz has had several previous negative interactions with customs and immigration officials. Because of these encounters in 2015 Garces-Ortiz was denied permanent residence in the U.S. are relating to his criminal history.
Homan went on to tell Fox & Friends anchors that the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department’s chose to release Garces-Ortiz by looking at an old detainer. Homan stated that particular out of date detainer, “didn’t clearly show that they had probable cause to make the arrest.”
“The new detainer, [which] has been in place for three years now, has that probable cause statement in the detainer, which makes it a legal document,” Homan explained.
“So again, they have their own attorneys. Their attorneys can certainly look at the Immigration Nationality Act to see detainers are the tool established by Congress within the federal law to take custody of [illegal] aliens within 48 hours,” Homan stated.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department’s Detention Services Bureau Chief Vince Line explained that if ICE had a signed warrant to arrest Garces-Ortiz they would have handled it like any other warrant being issued. He stated,
“We would honor that like any other warrant because it would provide a legal reason for (transferring) custody.”
According to the Denver Post, “Line said he doesn’t know of other cases in which inmates with immigration detainers were released from the jail and then committed other crimes, but he noted that people in Arapahoe County and across the state and nation who get released on bond without immigration detainers sometimes go out and commit other crimes.”
“It would not be surprising to me at all,” Line stated.
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