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After searching for over a year, ICE captures violent rapist released by sanctuary Santa Clara County

How far will fugitive counties like Santa Clara, California, take their disobedience against immigration law? They are willing to ignore ICE detainers even for convicted rapists.

On Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement captured a violent criminal and convicted rapist who remained a fugitive for roughly a year and a half. This in itself demonstrates the vitality of ICE’s work, but that is not the full story. The reason he was a fugitive is because Santa Clara County refused to honor a detainer on Feb. 8, 2018, even though he was arrested for not registering as a sex offender!

Arturo Burgara-Felix, 45, an illegal alien from Mexico, was able to rack up a long criminal history in this country thanks to California being a welcoming state for the worst criminals of other countries. According to ICE, Burgara-Felix had a long rap sheet and was deported in 2004.  He was previously convicted of rape in 2002, but, of course, only served two years in prison before being deported. Thanks to a lack of full border security and the allurement of sanctuary states, he came back at an unknown time.

Burgara-Felix built up a criminal career that included assault causing bodily injury to his spouse. Then on Feb. 8, 2018, he was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender. ICE lodged a detainer with the Santa Clara County Jail, but according to an ICE spokesman, “Santa Clara County Jail did not honor the detainer and subsequently released Burgara-Felix that same day to the community without notification to ICE.”

Thus, Santa Clara officials were willing to release a convicted rapist rather than follow immigration law. As such, he was a fugitive for 19 months until ICE found him on Monday.  According to ICE, Burgara-Felix is “currently in ICE custody pending criminal prosecution.”

First, by definition, if someone has to be placed on a sex offender registry and is therefore a public safety threat, how could we have illegal aliens knowingly listed by local government and not turned over to ICE? The entire purpose of the registry is that we don’t lock up sex offenders forever and are forced to take precautions when they are let out. But illegal aliens can and should be removed from the country. How many other illegal aliens remain in this country in plain sight, listed on sex offender registries?

Why is it too much to ask that we don’t harbor other countries’ child sex offenders?

This is what is so insidious about cities like Chicago lumping in immigration status with gender and race with regard to criminal justice:

Of course, immigration status matters. Unlike race or gender, which should never affect criminal justice decisions, knowing immigration status matters in the case of a criminal alien sex offender because it’s the difference between having them back on the streets or having them out of the country.

Second, it’s truly hard to overstate the danger of Santa Clara’s policies. In March, Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, an illegal alien from El Salvador, was charged for allegedly beating and stabbing Bambi Larson to death in her own home in south San Jose. The murder was 100% avoidable 10 times over because he had been arrested 10 times for charges including violent felonies, but the county refused to hand him over to ICE on seven occasions when ICE requested an immigration hold. (Three other detainers were lodged in Los Angeles County.) Yet, shockingly, even after the murder of Larson, the county board of supervisors chose to continue thwarting federal law.

According to the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office refused to honor over 1,600 immigration holds, of which ICE classified over 900 of them as threat level 1 and 2 offenses. Erik S. Bonnar, acting field office director for ICE’s Northern California office, told CR in June that during the two-month-period county officials were debating their sanctuary policies in the spring.

He said “ICE has issued a total of 176 immigration detainers with the Santa Clara County Jail,” which is almost an average of three a day. Not only were none of these detainers honored, “108 of these individuals had prior arrests,” which resulted in prior ICE detainers being lodged at the time, and all of them “were released without notification to ICE.”

Many other cities and counties have shielded criminal aliens who have committed rape, child sex assaults, or gang-related murder. How DOJ has not prosecuted these officials, how Senate Republicans have not held endless hearings and voted on countless bills addressing this, and how every Republican does not run incessant ads on this issue remains a mystery.

If Democrats want to discuss impeachment over “foreign influence,” there is no better response than for Republicans to make them take votes against harboring and shielding murderers and rapists of other countries.

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