Police in California have ignored a detainer order from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This time, the person they released is a convicted child murderer.
ICE issued the detainer order on Carlos Morales-Ramirez, a 44-year-old from Salvador. Morales-Ramirez was convicted of “second-degree murder, assault on a child causing death, and great bodily injury to a child causing death” in 1998.
Morales-Ramirez was still serving time for the crime at the California Department of Corrections in Pleasant Valley Prison in Chowchilla, California.
ICE issued the immigration detainer order on him in 2013. However, the state of California did not uphold that request. Morales-Ramirez was released back onto the streets on December 4, 2020.
ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in Los Angeles located and arrested Morales-Ramirez on December 10. They served him with a Notice to Appear as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, since Morales-Ramirez’s conviction for child murder qualifies him to be removed from the country. He is currently in ICE custody.
ICE places immigration detainers “on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are amenable to removal, so that the agency can take custody of that individual when they released from local custody within secure confines,” ICE said in a press release.
California failed to honor that order. In doing so, they allowed a dangerous criminal onto the streets. The order was ignored because many cities in California are “Sanctuary Cities,” which refuse to follow federal immigration law by turning over illegal immigrants.
“State sanctuary laws grant law enforcement officials the discretion to cooperate with immigration authorities in instances where serious or violent crimes have been committed; again, we are talking about the murder of a child – rather than working with our officers to ensure this convicted aggravated felon was safely handed over to ICE, he was released back into the community and our officers were forced to exhaust more time and resources relocating and re-arresting him,” said ICE’s ERO Los Angeles Field Office Director Dave Marin.
“California’s sanctuary policies continue to fail residents by allowing convicted criminals like Morales-Ramirez to walk free – state officials and advocates need to take a hard look at the reality, and potential consequences, of these misguided laws that leave potential victims wildly unprotected from very egregious criminal offenders,” he continued.
The press release also pointed out Fernando De Jesus Lopez-Garcia, who had a history of criminal convictions, including “battery of a spouse, assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, battery of an officer, and vandalism.”
Despite this long list of violent acts, the Santa Clara County Jail ignored an ICE immigration detainer and released Lopez-Garcia back onto the street, where he killed two people.