The pro-sanctuary crowd argues that sanctuary policies help prevent low-level (whatever that is) criminals from being deported, but that dangerous criminals who are in jail will absolutely be turned over to ICE, if ICE asks nicely (or gets an order from a federal judge in addition to the normal detainer process).
There seems to be some disagreement over what “low-level” and “dangerous” mean.
Currently a man named Vilchez Lazo is in custody in San Francisco, being held without bail after being charged with four counts of rape. Posing as a driver for a ride-share service, Lazo waited outside bars in the South of Market area of San Francisco on weekend nights, hoping a drunk single woman would mistake his car for their Uber or Lyft. Once the victim was in his car, he’d drive them to an isolated place and rape them at knifepoint.
Lazo is an illegal alien hailing from Peru, who actually was registered to drive with Lyft but wasn’t working when he committed the rapes. (That might have left a digital trail, so he’s not entirely stupid.)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement filed a detainer in Lazo’s case, wanting to pick him up for possible deportation proceedings whenever San Francisco is done with him. Their response? Nancy Crowley, spokesperson for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, told the New York Post they “didn’t have a response to ICE’s request” to detain Lazo “because there is nothing to respond to.”
Crowley said the suspect “isn’t going anywhere anytime soon” and if he’s convicted, he will be sent to prison.
“ICE asked us to notify them when he’s released,” Crowley said. “The individual is going to be in jail for some time.”
That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Lazo’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Eric Quandt, doesn’t believe the case has anything to do with immigration status.
“ICE has made this case about sanctuary laws and immigration status, and that has nothing to do with the charges that are being brought by the district attorney.”
Hmm, well, if Lazo hadn’t been in San Francisco for over five years illegally, he couldn’t have committed these rapes, could he? The Sheriff’s office hasn’t released any other criminal history Lazo might have, and it’s unlikely they’d voluntarily do so if he does have one.
ICE officials have said they don’t believe San Francisco officials will honor the detainer when it comes time to release Lazo. Spokesman Richard Rocha correctly observed that the policy “not only provides a refuge for illegal aliens, but it also shields criminal aliens who prey on people in the community.”