Every day it seems.
Every day, we read about an illegal immigrant who was protected by a sanctuary city, or a sanctuary county, or a sanctuary state, and who is subsequently arrested for a violent crime. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials are getting tired of it.
This past week, ICE officials blasted a new Colorado law that prevents local jails from keeping people in custody for ICE past their scheduled release dates. The case that has ICE officials so upset involved that of a Cuban immigrant who stands accused of attempted murder after being released from the Arapahoe County Jail last month.
However, officials from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office dispute the claim, stating that their policy has not changed since 2014, and that they notified ICE three hours before the suspect, 37-year-old Osmani Garces-Ortiz was released on bond.
Garces-Ortiz is in the United States illegally, and due to his criminal history, had his bid for permanent residency denied, according to ICE’s field office in Denver. He is now facing charges related to an incident where he tried to kill someone while out on bond.
According to ICE officials, Garces-Ortiz was able to commit the additional crime due to Colorado House Bill 1124, the so-called “sanctuary law” that prohibits police and sheriff’s departments from complying with ICE detainer requests.
ICE had submitted a detainer request on October 25 requesting that Garces-Ortiz be held pending whether ICE would commit him to an immigration detention center.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
ICE spokeswoman Alethea Mock stated in a news release issued this past Wednesday that:
“ICE wants to make it abundantly clear; Arapahoe County was not required to notify ICE regarding Garces’ release under the newly enacted law.”
However, according to Detention Services Bureau Chief Vince Line of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, they did notify ice at 3:27 p.m. on the date Garces-Ortiz was to be released. He was released from custody three hours later.
When informed about the claim from the sheriff’s office, Smock said that they did notify them of Garces-Ortiz’s detention but not his release time.
The practice of ICE detainers has been somewhat controversial in Colorado and many people say that application of the practice across the state has been inconsistent.
Opponents believe the practice is unconstitutional because they claim there is no probable cause to do so. Some courts have agreed and overturned cases. ICE officials say that cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement is “critical to public safety and essential to the agency’s mission.”
In September, the acting field director for ICE said that 42 illegal aliens in Colorado and Wyoming had recently been arrested by his officers. John Fabbricatore said that some had criminal records, were facing criminal charges, or were facing final deportation orders.
ICE requests to have criminal, illegal aliens detained in jail were declined by so-called “sanctuary cities” such as Denver and Boulder He claimed that dangerous people were allowed back on the street, and it also makes it difficult for ICE to enforce immigration laws.
Fabbricatore said that he doesn’t expect local police to enforce immigration laws, but that getting some assistance in detaining criminal aliens would help until ICE can process them.
This past May, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed House Bill 1124, which took effect immediately upon signing. ICE detainers or holds are requests by federal law enforcement to detain immigrants for up to 48 hours beyond their release date if ICE believes they’re undocumented. The extra time is to give ICE agents time to decide whether the individual should be removed from the country.
In addition to prohibiting cooperation from police and sheriff officials, HB1124 also prohibits probation officers from providing a person’s information to federal immigration officials, and requires Colorado police to advise immigrants of their Miranda rights when coordinating a telephone or video interview with ICE.
The law does still allow police to assist federal immigration officials when executing a warrant from a judge. Since ICE detainers are voluntary requests and are not signed by a judge, they are exempt from this allowance.
The law was passed in the Colorado Senate by a 19-16 vote along party lines. It passed in the Colorado house by a vote of 36-28, with four Democrats and all House Republicans voting in opposition.
Other laws passed that kowtow to immigration activists include SB30, which allows aliens to dismiss their guilty pleas if they were not told prior to pleading that a guilty verdict would harm their immigration status. The new law doesn’t require judges to dismiss guilty pleas, only to consider the defendants’ arguments.
HB1992 requires all Colorado public schools to teach the “history, culture and social contributions of Latinos and other racial minorities,” along with LGBT people and religious minorities. Oh yes, passing such a course is now a condition for high school graduation.
According to the Denver Post, Garces-Ortiz was arrested on Nov. 21 on suspicion of attempted murder, first-degree assault with serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon, first-degree burglary, felony menacing, violation of bail bond conditions, and a violent crime involving the use of a weapon, according to Colorado court records.
Aurora police declined to comment on the case, saying it has already been forwarded to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. A request by the Post for information relative to the case had not yet been received.
In September, Garces-Ortiz was arrested for numerous charges, including suspicion of felony trespassing, violation of bail bond conditions, felony possession of a controlled substance, and violation of a protection order. He was released in October.
He also has numerous prior convictions in Colorado for misdemeanor driving while under restraint, possession of a controlled substance, and harassment, according to court records.
Garces-Ortiz entered the United States illegally in 2008 via Key West, FL. He was granted an immigration waiver and released. The waiver expired in 2012. He applied for permanent residency; however, it was denied in August 2015. The immigration system in the United States is working well.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.