Illegal immigrant arrested for sexually assaulting two women in Oregon had been deported 20 times
Sergio Jose Martinez, 31, is an illegal immigrant who has been deported 20 times. Martinez’s lengthy criminal record shows a felony conviction for burglary and three misdemeanor convictions for battery, theft, and obstructing a public officer. Court documents also show Martinez has a long history of drug abuse.
Recently released under an Oregon “sanctuary county” policy
Martinez was arrested on July 24 by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office after they chased him through a local Oregon neighborhood. After he was arrested, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued an immigration detainer order, requesting the county notify them before releasing Martinez, to allow ICE to take him into custody. Multnomah County leaders and Sheriff Mike Reese, however, in accordance with a recently-adopted “sanctuary” policy, ignored the ICE detainer, and simply released Martinez back into the community.
Consequences of its own “sanctuary” policy: two women sexually assaulted
On Monday morning, Martinez broke into the home of a 65-year-old Portland woman. He tied the woman up, threatened to kill her, and then sexually assaulted her. Before leaving, he repeatedly punched the woman and slammed her head on the wood floor. He then stole the woman’s cell phone and Toyota Prius. The vehicle was found abandoned that afternoon.
Later that evening, officers were called to a report of a man assaulting a woman in the basement of a parking garage. They arrested Martinez, now armed with a knife, after he had sexually assaulted another woman.
Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, when passing the sanctuary measure: “I have no idea what the repercussions are”
In December 2016, Multnomah County commissioners approved a measure officially making the county a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants.
In what can only be called tragic irony, when approving the sanctuary measure, Commissioner Loretta Smith claimed she had “no idea” what the “repercussions” of the decision would be, but nevertheless passed the measure, promising it would be “good” for the community.
“I have no idea what the repercussions are,” said Smith, adding, “We are not holding folks for ICE… We don’t police for our immigration departments.”
Commissioner Smith should now have a better idea of the “repercussions” of her ill-informed decision.
Tragically, the price of Smith’s education was paid for by two fellow Oregon women.
“Sanctuary” policies give sanctuary to criminals, not to law-abiding citizens
In a speech in Philadelphia on July 21, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned against the consequences of “sanctuary city” policies, now tragically exposed in Multnomah County.
“Some jurisdictions in this country refuse to cooperate with the federal government when it comes to immigration authorities to turn over illegal aliens who commit crimes,” Sessions said, “These policies are often called sanctuary policies, but they are giving sanctuary not to law abiding citizens of our communities, they are providing sanctuary to criminals.”
“They are giving sanctuary not to law abiding citizens of our communities, they are providing sanctuary to criminals.” – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking on sanctuary city policies
Are sanctuary policies legal?
While there are many areas over which the states and the federal government share jurisdiction, or where the 10th Amendment gives jurisdiction to the states, immigration is not one of them. Section 8 of Article I gives Congress exclusive authority to “establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Thus, the states have no authority over immigration policy at all.
Sanctuary policies seek to nullify federal immigration law and obstruct its enforcement. 8 U.S.C. 1373, however, prohibits states and local jurisdictions from preventing their law enforcement officials from exchanging information with federal officials on the citizenship status of individuals they have arrested or detained. The Supreme Court upheld this provision in 2012 in Arizona v. United States.
As a result of the above, sanctuary policies are not “legal” under federal law, however, the real question is whether the federal government will enforce its exclusive privilege. Under President Obama’s administration, the federal government demonstrated little interest in enforcing immigration law, and that lackadaisical attitude contributed to the growth of sanctuary jurisdictions across the U.S.
The Trump Administration, however, has made it clear that sanctuary policies are unacceptable, and is taking steps to eradicate such policies.
Efforts growing to punish local government who adopt sanctuary policies
Legislative efforts to punish local governments who adopt sanctuary policies are gaining steam across the U.S. In March, the House Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee passed House Bill 697, which would penalize Florida counties who adopt sanctuary policies at a rate of $5000 per day.
Similar measures have been proposed, or have already been adopted, in Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The Trump administration announced on July 25th that sanctuary cities would no longer be eligible for federal assistance under the Justice Assistance Grant (“JAG”) Program if they continue to refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.