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Commentary

Illegal Alien Arrested for Fatal Crash Flees to Mexico After County Ignores ICE Detainer

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An illegal alien who killed an American citizen while street racing was released and fled to Mexico, thanks to Oregon’s sanctuary state status.

On July 12, Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a crash in Beaverton in northern Oregon.

According to the sheriff’s office, 20-year-old Alejandro Maldonado-Hernandez plowed into the car of Patrick Ator, who was taken to a local hospital with severe injuries. His wife of 57 years, Janice, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Maldonado-Hernandez was arrested and charged with manslaughter in the second degree, assault in the third degree and reckless driving.

However, he posted bail and on Aug. 8, authorities set him free, failing to honor a detainer request made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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“Under federal law, ICE has the authority to lodge immigration detainers with law enforcement partners who have custody of individuals arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens,” ICE explained last week in a news release regarding Maldonado-Hernandez’s case.

“The detainer form asks the other law enforcement agency to notify ICE in advance of release and to maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting upon release from that agency’s custody,” the news release states.

“Yet, across the United States, several jurisdictions refuse to honor detainers and instead choose to willingly release criminal offenders back into their local communities where they are free to offend.”

Surprise, surprise, Maldonado-Hernandez decided not to hang around for his criminal prosecution. Investigators learned in late August that he had fled to Mexico.

Should local governments be required to turn illegal immigrants who have committed violent crimes over to ICE?

“The decision to rebuff immigration detainers and not to hold dangerous individuals until ICE arrives to pick them up is a costly one,” said Nathalie Asher, Seattle field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations.

The man who was in the vehicle accident told local Fox affiliate KPTV that he is still trying to cope with the loss of his wife.

“When it was all over, I woke up and looked over at my wife. She wasn’t talking. I felt her pulse and there was no pulse. In my head I said, ‘Lord, why don’t you take me too?’” he recalled.

“We were totally happy,” Ator said.

“She was a great mother, an incredible grandmother and a lot of fun to be with,” daughter Deborah Goldstein added.

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Officials at Washington County Sheriff’s Office said they are not responsible for Maldonado-Hernandez’s escape to Mexico because they were simply following state law.

Sheriff Pat Garrett said in a statement to KPTV that ICE detainers are not enforceable in Oregon.

“The continuing refusal of ICE agents to provide necessary legal justification for holding people they believe are a danger to our community is the real problem, not the sheriff’s office insistence on following state law,” he said.

The sheriff claimed that ICE needed a warrant or an order signed by a judge for Washington County to detain him.

Asher does not see it that way.

“There is nothing that should prevent local law enforcement officials from making a simple phone call to notify ICE that a criminal alien is being released,” she said. “The decision to continue to cite misguided sanctuary laws that allow dangerous criminals back on the streets, and many times the opportunity to flee prosecution, is irresponsible and jeopardizes public safety.”

“It is real slap in the face to the victims friends and family when criminal aliens, in this case a man who has caused the death of a woman and severe injuries to her husband, are released into the community due to dangerous sanctuary policies,” Asher added.

“How many lives have to be lost before politicians are more concerned about public safety than their own political agendas?”

An overwhelming majority of Americans support the removal of illegal aliens who have committed crimes, particularly violent crimes from the U.S.

It’s time for politicians to do their job and put the safety of American citizens first.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 1,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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