From Oregon Live: Federal officers say they placed an immigration hold in March on a man facing domestic violence allegations but the Multnomah County jail wouldn’t recognize their civil detainer.
The man is now accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in a ditch near a summer camp outside Sandy in Clackamas County.
The case is the latest to shine the spotlight on Oregon’s controversial sanctuary law just as voters in next week’s election will decide whether to repeal the law.
The matter goes to the heart of the debate over the 31-year-old law, a major thorn in the side of the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has singled out Oregon and other states with similar laws as a haven for criminals who don’t belong in the United States.
It also exposes the fraying relationship between the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The latest case has both agencies accusing the other of not protecting the Portland community.
ICE officials said they put a hold on Martin Gallo-Gallardo on March 6 after he was arrested and accused of felony fourth-degree assault in the alleged abuse of his wife. The agency provided The Oregonian/OregonLive with a copy of the receipt from the fax they sent to the Sheriff’s Office.
Gallo-Gallardo, a Mexican citizen, illegally entered the U.S., according to ICE. Border Patrol officers had previously apprehended him multiple times, federal officials said.
ICE wanted the county jail to alert immigration officers before Gallo-Gallardo’s release so they could pick him up and hold him for deportation proceedings.
County sheriff’s officials said they didn’t get the ICE request but wouldn’t have followed it anyway. They argue that the detainers are administrative requests, not criminal warrants, and don’t meet state and federal law.
Gallo-Gallardo, 45, posted bail and prosecutors soon dismissed the felony assault allegations when his wife and a daughter wouldn’t cooperate in the case and a grand jury didn’t return an indictment, according to court records and investigators.
This week, Gallo-Gallardo was charged with murder, accused of fatally stabbing his wife, Coral Rodriguez Lorenzo, 38.
An ICE spokeswoman suggested if Multnomah County had alerted the federal agency so its officers could pick up and hold Gallo-Gallardo before he was released from jail, he probably wouldn’t have returned to his family.
“ICE maintains that cooperation by local law enforcement is an indispensable component of promoting public safety,” said Tanya J. Roman, a spokeswoman for the ICE regional office that covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.
“It’s unfortunate that law enforcement agencies like the Multnomah County jail refuse to work with ICE to promote public safety by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims,” she said.
Sheriff Mike Reese has said his deputies will hold a person for ICE only when they receive a federal criminal arrest warrant signed by a judge, and won’t share information with federal immigration authorities.
The Sheriff’s Office said it never received the civil detainer for Gallo-Gallardo, though it wouldn’t have kept him on an administrative immigration hold in any case, said Sgt. Brandon White, sheriff’s spokesman.
The Sheriff’s Office pushed back at ICE in a scathing response Friday. “ICE is putting our community at risk with their failed enforcement strategy of not using the authority the agency already has to hold people accountable,” the office said in a statement.
“No Oregon jail can hold someone on a civil detainer based on the federal court case Miranda Oliveras v. Clackamas County. The U.S. Attorney’s Office knows this, ICE knows this, but they persist in pursuing this failed strategy. Federal officials had ample time to do their job. They had his name, address and his telephone number.
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