In unrelated cases that illustrate the high price communities pay for sanctuary policies, two illegal immigrants—both with extensive criminal records—were convicted of first-degree murder this week in different parts of a border state that has longed protected the undocumented.
In San Francisco a jury found Edwin Ramos, a renowned gang banger, guilty of three first-degree murder counts for the 2008 killings of a 48-year-old man and his two sons. Ramos had a lengthy criminal record when he murdered the family, but San Francisco sanctuary laws shielded him from deportation.
Judicial Watch obtained public records that show police knew Ramos was an active member of the notoriously violent MS-13 street gang and that he had numerous run ins with the law, including arrests for weapons and gang-related charges. Furthermore, police knew Ramos was in the U.S. illegally yet released him after every encounter. In short, the records obtained by JW prove that don’t-ask-don’t tell sanctuary policies protect illegal alien gang bangers and put American citizens at risk.
Regardless, the famously liberal northern California city has long protected illegal immigrants and offered them costly public services that should be reserved for legal residents and citizens. In fact, illegal aliens are assured through costly, Spanish-language advertisement campaigns that they will never be reported to federal officials. In 2007 San Francisco became the nation’s first large municipality to offer illegal aliens official government identification cards.
A few hundred miles south in Los Angeles, another illegal immigrant gang banger (Pedro Espinoza) was also convicted of first-degree murder this week for gunning down a standout high school football player in 2008. Jurors deliberated for about four hours before reaching a verdict, according to a local news report, that says Espinoza proudly sports a tattoo with the initials “B.K,” which police says stands for “Blood Killer.”
Espinoza had just completed a jail sentence for a previous felony when he murdered the 17-year-old star running back, Jamiel Shaw, as he walked home. Like San Francisco Los Angeles has strict policies banning law enforcement officers from inquiring about suspects’ immigration status. In this case it allowed a violent gang banger to gun down a talented young athlete who was being recruited by top colleges.
JW has led a nationwide effort to eradicate don’t-ask-don’t-tell law enforcement policies like the ones that led to these horrific crimes. JW has filed lawsuits against police departments in Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston where officers are prohibited from inquiring about suspects’ immigration status.