JULY 24, 2008
An ugly finger-pointing drama has escalated between federal immigration authorities and San Francisco law enforcement officials over who dropped the ball in the case of a criminally convicted illegal immigrant gang banger who was freed and went on to murder a man and his two sons last week.
The notoriously liberal northern California city has for decades boasted that it officially provides sanctuary—as well as free public services—to illegal immigrants who are assured through costly, Spanish-language advertisement campaigns that they will never be reported to federal officials.
Among San Francisco’s sanctuary perks is protecting violent juvenile offenders from deportation by spending millions of taxpayer dollars to escort them back to their home country or house them in unlocked group homes that they easily escape from.
In this tragic case that outrageous policy allowed a repeat offender to remain in the country and embark on a violent crime spree that ended with the brutal murders—with an AK-47 assault weapon—of a father and his two sons simply because their car blocked his from making a turn. The illegal immigrant from El Salvador was twice convicted of felonies (a gang-related assault on a bus passenger and the attempted robbery of a pregnant woman) as a youth yet he was never deported.
Instead, he remained protected in a U.S. sanctuary city that stood by as he developed into a 21-year-old thug leader of a notoriously violent street gang known as MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha. Not long before he gunned down the family, the gang banger (Edwin Ramos) had been arrested after police discovered a gun used in a double homicide in the car he was driving.
Prosecutors decided not to file charges against Ramos and he was released from jail. Here is where the dispute has brewed between the feds and San Francisco officials. The law enforcement agency that arrested Ramos a few months ago, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, claims that his immigration status was checked on a national database and that federal officials were notified because he was considered deportable.
According to a high-ranking sheriff spokesperson, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the department that the agency would not put a hold on Ramos so the sheriff had to release him. "In our communication with ICE, they specifically told us they were not placing a detainer on him," said Eileen Hirst, chief of staff for San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey.
ICE countered with its own and vastly different version of the facts. A spokesman said the agency did not receive word of Ramos’ arrest in March. He said the only communication ICE received about Ramos was an "electronic message" from the sheriff’s department three hours after Ramos was released.
Regardless of who you believe the fact remains that criminally convicted illegal immigrants, protected by sanctuary cities like San Francisco, have gone on to commit atrocious crimes against Americans because they don’t get deported. Examples include cop murderers, drunken drivers who have killed families on U.S. highways and rapists.
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