The illegal immigrant cop killer from a controversial Trump campaign ad had re-entered the United States during the George W. Bush administration after previously being released from prison by the office of former Maricopa County Sheriff and outspoken Trump ally Joe Arpaio.
What's the background?
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted out an ad featuring Luis Bracamontes, an illegal immigrant who is facing the death penalty for the murder of two police officers. Text over the video reads “Democrats let him into our country,” and “Democrats let him stay.”
The ad also showed a clip of the migrant caravan heading toward the U.S. border from Central America with the caption “Who else would Democrats let in?”
However, according to a fact-check by the Sacramento Bee, Bracamontes was deported under a Democratic president, and released from jail by a close ally of Trump.
Bracamontes reportedly first entered the country in 1993. He received a drug sentence, was turned over to federal authorities by Arpaio's office, and was deported in 1997, under the Clinton administration. By 1998, he had returned to the United States and was arrested again on drug charges in Arizona.
That same year, he was released by the Maricopa County Sheriff's office, which was still run by Arpaio, “for reasons unknown,” according to the Bee.
Bracamontes was arrested again and deported for a second time after marijuana charges in May 2001, but re-entered the U.S. sometime before the end of February the following year. He would remain in the U.S. until 2014, when he was arrested for killing two police officers. He was sentenced to death in April this year.
After Bracamontes was arrested for killing the police officers, Arpaio noted that he was "booked into the jails I run for drug-related convictions," but added that “[h]e was evidently turned over to ICE and had been deported on two occasions.”
According to a 2014 article in The Republic, Arpaio blamed the federal government for releasing Bracamontes saying, “Once again we are faced with another tragedy on our hands because of a form of ‘backdoor amnesty’.”
Except, when Arpaio had handed Bracamontes over to federal authorities, he was deported. The second time he was arrested, it was Arpaio's office that let him go.
Arpaio was convicted in 2017 for detaining people suspected of being undocumented immigrants, in contempt of a court order telling him to stop. He was pardoned by Trump the same year.