President Trump has continuously sought to make Make America Safe Again. But sanctuary cities, which defy federal immigration authorities to protect criminal aliens, have been detriments to our safety and security.
Sanctuary city officials often ignore requests from federal immigration officials to hold criminal suspects that the city has arrested for state or local criminal offenses even where the alien is charged with or convicted of a very serious felony . Releasing these criminal aliens back onto our streets affects the safety of all Americans.
Here’s a look at some criminal aliens who were arrested then released back onto the streets by sanctuary city officials, despite the requests of immigration authorities:
- Nery Estrada-Margos
- Nery Estrada-Margos, a citizen of Guatemala, was arrested last year in Santa Rosa, California on charges of inflicting corporal injury to a spouse/cohabitant, only to be released just days later in defiance of federal immigration authorities. He was arrested a couple of weeks later as a suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, Veronica Cabrera Ramirez. He is currently in Sonoma County Sheriff’s custody.
- Luis Peña
- In November 2011, law enforcement officers in Cook County, Illinois, arrested Luis Peña, a citizen of Mexico, on felony charges for driving on a revoked/suspended license. His license had been suspended due to a prior conviction for felony driving under the influence (DUI). Despite the immigration detainer ICE lodged on Peña, he was released from jail. Less than a year later, Peña was arrested and later convicted of aggravated DUI causing death and driving on a suspended/revoked license. Peña is currently in local custody at the Danville Correction Center in Illinois.
- Bernabe Garcia-Lopez
- On January 20, 2014, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in California arrested Bernabe Garcia-Lopez, a citizen of Mexico, on DUI charges. He was previously removed by immigration officials in 2008 and had prior convictions in Riverside County for rape and for hit-and-run. Despite his past criminal history and a detainer request from immigration officials, he was released from custody the following day. Garcia was arrested again the next year for another DUI. Despite immigration officials’ request to hold Garcia , he was released once again and is currently at large.
- Santos Lopez-Avila
- On November 21, 2016 the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) arrested Santos Lopez-Avila, a citizen of Honduras, for possession of cocaine for sale and other charges. Lopez had been deported three times – in 2010, 2013 and 2015 – and had previous convictions in San Francisco County for transporting/selling narcotics. However, he was soon released and arrested again shortly after for cocaine possession for sale and other charges. Once again, Lopez was released. On March 13 2017, he was arrested again by SFPD for Transportation, sale of narcotics and possession for purchase/Sale of Cocaine Base. ICE issued another detainer that SFPD did not honor and he was subsequently released again. Santos Lopez-Avila currently remains at-large.
- Juan Carlos Garcia-Ayala
- On February 23, 2012, the San Jose Police Department in California arrested Juan Carlos Garcia-Ayala, a citizen of Mexico on charges of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and an outstanding warrant for a hit-and-run. Garcia-Ayala had previously been deported three times. Garcia-Ayala was arrested on three separate occasions only to be released onto the streets soon after each arrest. After a fourth arrest, Garcia was finally deported back to Mexico. Soon after his removal, Garcia reentered the U.S. and was arrested and released three more times. Garcia-Ayala was finally arrested again and convicted in the Superior Court of California of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
- Kendel Anthony Felix
- The New York City Police Department (NYPD) arrested Kendel Felix, a citizen of St. Lucia and a national of the United Kingdom, on various local criminal charges in July 2012, September 2012, and February 2013. Despite an immigration detainer lodged by ICE, he was released by the New York City Department of Corrections in April 2013. One year later, Felix was arrested by the NYPD and charged with murder. He was later convicted in September 2016 of kidnapping/abduction resulting in death.
- Ricardo Hernandez-Garcia
- On June 6, 2014, the NYPD arrested Ricardo Hernandez-Garcia, a citizen of Mexico. Hernandez was released without notifying immigration officials. NYPD arrested Hernandez again on local charges. Once again, Hernandez was released onto the streets without any notification to immigration officials. On November 30, 2016, the NYPD arrested Hernandez on the charge of attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. Hernandez was convicted of two counts of assault with intent to cause physical injury by means of a weapon and sentenced to four years imprisonment.