Sometimes you wonder if people have any common sense at all. take for instance the sanctuary city of Santa Rosa, California, whose police department has a 38-year-old illegal alien in custody that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were interested in and instead of releasing the man into the custody of ICE, they allowed him to go free.
Two weeks later, Nery Israel Estrada-Margos murdered his girlfriend.
Estrada-Margos had a known history of domestic violence.
The Press Democrat reports:
Nery Israel Estrada-Margos, 38, turned himself in at the Santa Rosa police station just before 7 a.m. Friday, telling authorities that he had beaten his girlfriend after an argument and feared she might be dead, police said.
Santa Rosa police officers went to the Russell Avenue apartment that Estrada-Margos shared with the victim, Veronica Cabrera Ramirez, 42, and found her body.
Estrada-Margos was booked in Sonoma County Jail on murder charges Friday. An autopsy for Cabrera Ramirez is scheduled today by the Sonoma County Coroner’s Office.
Estrada-Margos was also arrested Aug. 2 for felony domestic battery after Cabrera Ramirez informed police about a July 31 incident. After he was fingerprinted and booked in Sonoma County Jail, Immigration and Customs Enforcement contacted jail officials and asked to be notified when he was released.
Estrada-Margos posted bail, set at $30,000, on Aug. 3. The Sheriff’s Office notified ICE that day of his release, but federal agents did not come to the jail to pick him up.
Now, that's one day. ICE agents are in the area and the sheriff's department has been under scrutiny for not working with ICE, but consider that of the 139 responses to ICE notifications through July 31 of 2017, only a small percentage have actually been handled by ICE.
So, is this an issue of the sheriff's office or ICE?
“This shouldn’t happen, that’s for sure,” said Gerardo Lopez, the victim’s ex-husband. “Someone made a mistake and then he killed her.”
“It’s up to them. If they can come and pick someone up, that’s their responsibility, not ours,” explained Misty Harris with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s office.
However, records show that ICE was notified at 8:20pm on Augu and Estrada-Margos was released just 16 minutes later at 8:36 pm. That doesn't even give someone time to get in their car and drive there.
“They should notify sooner. They should give them more time to take this guy and take him back to his country,” said Lopez. “But now I am hoping he can be in jail forever.”
ICE released a statement saying that this notification and time period is an ongoing issue with the county.
“A vast majority of notifications conveyed by Sonoma County to ICE in the past six months have failed to provide sufficient advance notification to pick up these criminals,” the statement read in part. “The county’s policy of notifying ICE only minutes before releasing a criminal alien clearly failed in this case as it has in too many others.”
The sheriff's office said, “First our condolences to the family. We can’t predict someone’s behavior. We have laws we have to operate within and can’t change them based on the people that come through our doors.”
It's true, they can't predict people's behaviors nor should they attempt to do so. However, 15 minutes is hardly enough time for ICE to respond to the call.
Interim Sheriff Rob Giordano recently changed his policy concerning notifications from ICE.
According to the new policy, Sheriff Giordano will only receive notification requests if the illegal alien has been convicted of a felony listed by the California Trust Act.
Not only are felonies in the California Trust Act responded to by the sheriff's office, but the sheriff included 13 other crimes that they would be convicted for over the past five years, including DUIs, battery and seven sex crimes relating to minors.
If this policy had been in place on August 3, ICE would never have been notified at all about Estrada-Margos because he had no prior convictions, according to sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Spencer Crum.
It looks to me as though Sheriff Giordano should give at least an hour to notify ICE and allow someone to be assigned to that notification to deal with it.
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