I.C.E. ignores California “sanctuary state” laws – arrests illegal immigrants in court anyway


Santa Rosa, California – California officials who’ve tried to make the state a bastion for illegal immigrants are no doubt once again screaming at the sky.

This, after ICE showed they don’t care about their state laws surrounding “sanctuary”.

State law in California forbids ICE from arresting people illegally present in the country at courthouses throughout the state. In response, ICE went ahead and arrested two illegal aliens right in the Sonoma County Superior Court.

Here’s the issue, it’s a law California created that it could never actually enforce – and they recently got front row seats to what ICE thinks of their state laws that contradict Federal immigration laws.


Public Defender Kathleen Pozzi is one of the people outraged that a Federal law enforcement officer did their job this past Tuesday:

“It’s now going to put total fear in the community. People aren’t going to come to court. Victims will refuse to show up. Witnesses will refuse to show up … cases will have to get dismissed.”

By community, Pozzi means illegal immigrants. Secondly, while people accused of crimes will certainly be at risk of deportation, victims and witnesses are not at risk at all once they’re cases are reviewed by immigration officials. For a lawyer, she must not be that hip to law.

When it comes to witnesses is any crime committed in the United States, there are special visas that will grant someone three-years residency within the country. They’re called the S-5 and S-6 visas.

Here’s the other kicker, once an S visa recipient has aided in a criminal investigation or trial, the law enforcement agency they aided can draft a petition on their behalf for permanent residency. Because in America, we like people that help law enforcement.

Oh, and that whole ‘victims won’t show up to court and are at risk’?

Wrong again. That’s where the U visa comes in. A victim of nearly any crime that involved some kind of loss or harm (and their entire immediate family) gets to stay when assisting in the prosecution of their alleged aggressors.

In fact, all that needs to be done for a U visa is a qualifying agency needs to inform immigration officials of the victim involved via a “Certification of Helpfulness”.

That means any law enforcement agency (state, local, or federal), Child Protective Services, prosecutors and judges, and even the Department of Labor and the EEOC can file that certification.

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Thus, the notion that victims and are at risk at court houses isn’t really that big of an issue and can be resolved rather quickly.

Although, if California would talk to ICE more often, then they literally wouldn’t even have to worry about victims and witnesses being worried – because being proactive helps.


David Jennings, ICE’s field office director in San Francisco, has to the following to say regarding the courthouse arrests:

“Our officers will not have their hands tied by sanctuary rules when enforcing immigration laws to remove criminal aliens from our communities.”

Department of Homeland Security Public Affairs Specialist Jonathan Moor also acknowledged the recent arrests, stating:

“The two individuals were previously arrested by local law enforcement and later released back into the community. U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested the individuals at the Sonoma County Courthouse on February 18.” 

When it comes to ICE abiding by California’s rule on arresting criminal immigrants at court, which that is who they recently arrested in the Sonoma County courthouse, they couldn’t care less.

The people detained were neither witnesses nor victims, they were showing up to their own cases in court. Atop of that, they both had previous criminal records. 

One of those arrested was Antonio Hernandez Lopez, who was recently charged with inflicting corporal injury to a spouse, DUI and preventing a witness from reporting.

Outside his pending criminal charges in California, Lopez was previously convicted of DUI and an unspecified local ordinance conviction. Not to mention, he’d already been deported four times.

The other illegal alien arrested was Pedro Romero Aguirre. He totes five criminal convictions spanning a decade that include misdemeanor trespassing, driving without a license, misdemeanor DUI/alcohol, illegal entry, and misdemeanor battery.

He was also apprehended by ICE six times and ordered to voluntarily return to Mexico – which he only obliged three of those six times.

ICE has made it crystal clear to these sanctuary states and sanctuary laws – they’re nothing more than symbolic.

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