An illegal immigrant suspected of a fatal hit-and-run is avoiding Immigration and Customs Enforcement thanks to the Denver Sheriff's Department. The suspect was driving his pickup truck when he collided with a semi-truck earlier this week. The semi-truck driver died after the vehicle caught fire, and the pickup driver fled the scene.
After the driver was taken into custody in Denver, he was found to be an illegal immigrant, 26-year-old Ivan Zamarripa-Castaneda. ICE wants him for potential deportation, but the Denver Sheriff's office is refusing to comply with the agency. Instead of cooperating, the sheriff's office said it wants a warrant. The problem is, obtaining a federal warrant for each individual is "extremely time consuming" and something ICE just "doesn't have the resources for,” considering they send out thousands of detainers on a daily basis, ICE Spokesman Carl Rusnok explained.
“By ICE taking custody of these individuals, we actually help improve public safety by taking these criminal aliens off the streets and ultimately removing them to their country of origin,” he added.
Thanks to Denver's noncompliance, however, if Zamarripa-Castaneda posts his $25,000 bond, he’s a free man until his next court date.
The Denver Sheriff's Department, it turns out, stopped honoring detainer requests back in 2014. They have plenty of company. Perhaps no state has done more to spit in ICE's face than California. Last week, Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf even encouraged "undocumented citizens" to evade the immigration authorities. In a social media post, she warned the community that ICE agents were planning a raid in the next 24 hours. Her heads up very well may have allowed hundreds of individuals to flee, because when ICE showed up, they found only 232 of the 864 illegal immigrants that were supposedly living there.
By the way, 115 of the 232 detained individuals were found to have "serious or violent" criminal records.
The Trump administration sued California for its insubordination Wednesday. Attorney General Jeff Sessions followed up the announcement with a speech targeted at the officials who continue to encourage dangerous sanctuary city policies.
"How dare you," he warned the likes of Schaaf.