The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office in California, which has routinely ignored detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, freed a violent illegal alien who stabbed five and killed two after his release.
Police in Santa Clara County arrested Fernando De Jesus Lopez-Garcia, 32, last November after he stabbed five congregants at Grace Baptist Church in San Jose, NTD reported.
Subsequent investigation showed that Lopez-Garcia was a “repeat immigration offender with a significant criminal history spanning back nearly 15 years that includes convictions for battery of a spouse, assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, battery of an officer, and vandalism,” ICE reported.
The Immigration Reform Law Institute investigated the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and found that the failure to protect the public from Lopez-Garcia was not an isolated incident, according to a press release.
In the past two years, the sheriff’s office ignored 1,757 lawful detainers from ICE—909 in 2019 and 848 in 2020. The records keeper at ICE said there is not one recorded instance in which the sheriff’s office honored a detainer.
“These numbers are absolutely appalling,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI.
“Anti-borders politicians have utterly perverted the role of state and local law enforcement,” he said. “Instead of protecting citizens from dangerous criminals, some law enforcement in California apparently now exist to shield violent alien criminals from the deportation called for by federal law.”
In Lopez-Garcia’s case, the San Joaquin County Jail ignored released him three times, each time ignoring a lawful detainer for transfer to federal custody.
SJCJ released him sometime after July 2019, depsite being arrested for “inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, kidnapping, and threatening crime with intent to terrorize.”
The San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office arrested him again in August 2019 on local charges and the SJCJ released him shortly thereafter.
Even after the Superior Court of San Joaquin, California convicted him of charges from July 2019 and sentenced him to about a year in prison, the SJCJ released him upon completion of his sentence without notifying ICE.
“Californians are now paying the price for these sanctuary laws in the form of more deaths and criminal mayhem,” Wilcox said.