As the battle over so-called “sanctuary” cities and states heats up, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it has arrested a three-time felon in Chicago, a city known for its “sanctuary” policy.
According to an ICE press release, Yoni Cruz-Lopez, 24, who is a citizen of Guatemala, had been convicted of Driving Under the Influence three times while residing in the United States illegally.
Those convictions came in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
After the latest conviction, ICE issued a detainer request for Cruz-Lopez, which was summarily ignored by the city of Chicago. He was released from jail to roam the streets freely, despite his immigration status and obvious public safety risk.
“In addition to his criminal convictions, Cruz-Lopez is an immigration fugitive,” ICE said.
He was order removed from the country in 2017 when he failed to show up for an immigration hearing. Chicago also ignored that court order when it released him back onto the streets in 2019.
“These dangerous policies (sanctuary policies) leave ICE with no choice, but to increase enforcement to effect arrests to include neighborhoods and public places,” ICE said.
Robert Guadian, field office director for ICE’s Chicago Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), blasted sanctuary policies.
“I want the public to know that this is an example of the type of dangerous person sanctuary policies protect – an aggravated felon,” he said. “Targeted enforcement action was made in one of the country’s busiest transit terminals, possibly putting commuters and travelers at risk. This arrest should have been made in the secure confines of a jail.”
Earlier this week, attorney General Bill Barr filed lawsuits against two “sanctuary” locales, King County, WA, and the state of New Jersey, asking the federal government to strike down “sanctuary” policies.
In King County, ICE is barred from using the airport to deport illegal aliens. In New Jersey, local law enforcement is prohibited from using any resources to help federal immigration agencies.
The federal government’s lawsuit claims that states have no jurisdiction over immigration law, citing the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
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