Mexican native and illegal immigrant Jesus Ascencio-Molina was charged with assault and attempted murder this week, accused of attacking his co-worker with a nail gun at a construction site in Happy Valley, Oregon, on April 13.
The victim, Andres Marcelo, is listed in stable condition after suffering multiple puncture wounds.
Ascenscio-Molina fled the scene following the incident, and was arrested the next day. He’s being held at the Clackamas County jail, with bail set at $250,000.
The accused had been deported once from the US years ago. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell, “Ascencio-Molina was previously detained by ICE on immigration violations in 2012 after ICE officers encountered him at the Multnomah County Detention Center after his arrest on local criminal charges. An immigration judge subsequently granted Ascencio-Molina voluntary departure to Mexico, and ICE returned him to his home country in 2013.”
Cutrell says that since Clackamas is a sanctuary county, there is a possibility that ICE will not get a heads up from the sheriff’s department if the suspect is released. She said, “Even though we lodged a detainer, due to Clackamas County’s policy of non-cooperation, it is unlikely that ICE will be notified in the event Ascencio-Molina is released from custody before his criminal case is resolved.”
According to the county’s criteria, there must be probably cause to warrant detention under an ICE detainer.
Even if convicted of the charges against him, Ascencio-Molina may be able to avoid being deported a second time.
While the Immigration and Nationality Act states that illegal immigrants convicted of a “crime of violence” could be deported, a 2015 Supreme Court ruling found that the definition of a “violent felony” from a similar law was too vague.
This week, the Supreme Court again called for clarity in the law, with Justice Neil Gorsuch declaring: “The law’s silence leaves judges to their intuitions and the people to their fate. In my judgment, the Constitution demands more.”