Denver sticking to sanctuary policy following arrest of hit-and-run suspect already deported six times

By Jason Hopkins

Denver officials do not plan on fully cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they release an illegal alien who was deported six times before getting arrested for fleeing the scene of a deadly hit-and-run accident.

Juan Sanchez, a Mexican national living in the U.S. illegally, is accused of striking a pedestrian in the Denver area with a vehicle and immediately fleeing the scene. If Sanchez — who lives in a state that largely limits cooperation with ICE — is able to make bond, his release back into the community could pose another showdown between local officials and federal immigration authorities.

The City and County of Denver reiterated its position on transferring custody of illegal aliens when approached by the Daily Caller News Foundation about Sanchez’s case.

Wikimedia Commons/Mobilus In Mobili

Denver reiterated its intention to release Sanchez if he makes bond, and will not conduct a transfer of custody to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A Colorado woman, Annette Conquering Bear, was running an errand Dec. 17 when an oncoming SUV struck her while she tried to cross an intersection. The vehicle drove away without stopping, according to the Denver Police Department. A witness to the accident flagged down a nearby ambulance, but Conquering Bear was pronounced dead at the scene.

Law enforcement was able to locate the vehicle, a white GMC Sierra crew cab truck, and arrest its driver, Sanchez. The 39-year-old Mexican national was charged with vehicular homicide and fleeing the scene of an accident. Officials set his bond at $500,000.

ICE revealed Sanchez carries an extensive list of immigration violations that spans nearly two decades. Not only is he living in the U.S. illegally, but he was deported from the country six times: once in 2012, three times in 2008, and twice in 2002. It’s not immediately clear how Sanchez was able to make so many unauthorized re-entries into the U.S., which is a felony under federal law.

Colorado’s state government, which is under the control of the Democratic Party, has become increasingly antagonistic toward federal immigration authorities. Gov. Jared Polis, for example, signed into law in May legislation that prohibits local law enforcement from detaining a suspected illegal alien solely on the basis of an ICE request, prohibits officers from providing an illegal alien’s personal information to ICE, and requires police to read illegal aliens their Miranda rights when coordinating an ICE interview.

Given Sanchez’s repeated violations of U.S. immigration law, the DCNF asked Denver’s government if it would allow for a coordinated transfer with ICE, should Sanchez make bond. The DCNF received the following response:

“Pursuant to the Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act, when the Denver Sheriff Department receives a request for notification from ICE the inmate is advised of their rights upon receipt and prior to release. We fax Ice notification of release when the individual enters into the release process. It is the responsibility of ICE to take the individual into custody. We do not do any secure handoff and do not participate in the transfer unless an incident would occur that would threaten the safety of the community.”

The statement, provided by the communications director of the sheriff’s department, was noted as the standard protocol for all illegal aliens in their custody.

However, ICE said this policy doesn’t cut it, noting that such a last-minute notification is not “functional.”

“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. 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,” an ICE spokesperson told the DCNF.

“A notification that an alien is about to be released to the lobby is not a functional way to ensure transfer of custody,” the spokesperson continued.

Should Sanchez be released from custody and ICE is not able to make an apprehension in time, he would be far from the first illegal alien to evade capture from the agency because of local sanctuary policies. Illegal aliens who have been released in defiance of ICE detainer requests have been charged with homicide, child sex abuse, and a host of other crimes across the country.

“When law enforcement agencies can’t honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat,” the spokesperson added.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Mobilus In Mobili
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6 thoughts on “Denver sticking to sanctuary policy following arrest of hit-and-run suspect already deported six times

  1. The only way this will be remedied is by lifting the laws that protect these political hacks from
    being sued by the victims of illegals. This is becoming all too prevalent and the reason is their
    being held above the law for breaking the law… Federal funding for sanctuary cities needs to
    be withheld until they comply with federal laws.. someone breaking the fundamental laws of illegal entry aren’t going to be to concerned with breaking other laws.

  2. The presence of one illegal alien can produce at least one anchor baby giving rise to descendents who will be eligible to vote and it will be up to the various political parties to cater to those votes. All too often, however, the lure of “Free stuff” beats “free-dom” amongst those who tend to vote for democrat politicians. Sanctuary cities and open borders are the vehicles used to enable this evolution that in the longer term will ultimately lead to the deterioration of our economy as well as undermining equal protection under the law.

  3. Rights?? When an illegal is deported SIX times and commits a crime and the sanctuaries protect the individual, you have the inmates running the institution. Some folks will never learn. This is insanity!!!!

  4. Would a purported US born ‘male’ without ‘color’ with multiple felonies, facing a murder charge
    Be allowed bail and street freedom !??
    or be jailed for having too many priviledges

  5. Progressives are never wrong so they’ll never admit their policies are wrong. It’s all about Obama’s goal of fundamentally transforming the US which means we fundamentally change our policies toward everyone. In summary, this means every person is part of the whole; they have no personal accountability; that person, regardless of where they came from or what they’ve done in life, is the responsibility of the whole. If that person commits a crime, like murder, the blame rests with the whole because the whole failed that person. It’s truly unfortunate someone died, but that only goes to show that if the whole had removed all weapons from everyone, there wouldn’t have been the means to kill and therefore that person would not have died. There’s no point in jailing the person because the whole is really to blame and the whole can’t be jailed.

  6. Please, please please, someone explain to me why individuals who illegally enter this country and remain here illegally are somehow entitled to “Sanctuary Cities” where they are not subject to our citizenship/work visa laws? This is pure idiocy when “Universal Socialists” dictate their vision of their world in total disregard of LAW! And when in hell is the Supreme Court going to outlaw this “Sanctuary City” crap!

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