Illegal immigrant who allegedly drew swastikas in DC Union Station won’t be deported: ICE
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said it would not seek to deport an illegal immigrant who allegedly drew swastikas in Washington DC’s Union Station and who has previously been deported four times – with the agency citing the capital’s “sanctuary city” policies.
Geraldo Pando, a Mexican national, was arrested last month for vandalism and is accused of having drawn the Nazi symbols a day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The incident is being investigated as a possible “hate crime.”
PREVIOUSLY-DEPORTED CRIMINAL ACCUSED OF DRAWING SWASTIKAS AT DC UNION STATION
In a statement, an ICE spokesperson told Gadget Clock Digital that Pando entered the US illegally as a minor in 1990. He was arrested for the first time in 2006 in Colorado and was deported in 2006, 2007, 2014 and 2017.
The Washington Examiner first reported that Pando has been deported before, that he has a lengthy criminal history, including a 35-page criminal history in Colorado for stretching crimes from possession of drugs to misdemeanor theft, and that ICE had not sought to take him into custody after his arrest.
ICE told Gadget Clock Digital it has not issued a detainer – a request that ICE be informed of an illegal immigrant’s pending release from custody, so they can be moved into deportation proceedings. The spokesperson cited DC’s status as a “non-cooperative jurisdiction,” typically referred to as a “sanctuary city.”
Sanctuary cities limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities, resulting in most ICE detainees being ignored.
“ICE has not issued a detainee on Pando because the District of Columbia is a non-cooperative jurisdiction and the Washington DC jail is barred from honoring ICE detainees due to a federal District Court ruling, and city ordinance,” an ICE spokesperson said.
DC POLICE ARREST SUSPECT ACCUSED OF SPRAYING SWASTIKAS ON UNION STATION
The failure in the attempt to deport Pando is the latest example of how ICE has been limited by a mix of Biden administration policies and “sanctuary city” policies at the state and local level, seeking to protect illegal immigrants from federal immigration law.
The Biden administration has significantly restricted ICE’s priorities to just three categories of illegal immigrant: recent border crossers, aggravated felons and national security threats. It also has barred agents from making arrests and other enforcement actions in certain areas, while barring worksite enforcement raids.
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While the administration has taken significant criticism for its handcuffing of ICE, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has defended the policies – including the policy that someone’s illegal status is not grounds for an enforcement action.
“We have fundamentally changed immigration enforcement in the interior,” Mayorkas said in an interview in January.
Gadget Clock’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.
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