Just how often do preventable tragedies like Kate Steinle’s murder by an illegal immigrant happen? Far too often, as the case of 29-year-old Victor Aureliano Hernandez Ramirez, who’s accused of rape and murder, shows.
Just weeks after Steinle’s death, on July 24, Ramirez and an accomplice, Jose Fernando Villagomez, allegedly broke into the home of 64-year-old Marilyn Pharis, where they sexually assaulted and attacked her with a hammer. She died eight days later.
The illegal immigrant is now being charged with murder. But given the fact that he twice avoided deportation in the past 15 months, serious questions are being raised about why, given that this wasn’t the first time he was in law enforcement custody or committed a violent act.
The DC reports:
Ramirez was incarcerated by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department for a May 22, 2014 battery charge against a woman. At that time, ICE placed a detainer request asking the sheriff’s office to be notified of Ramirez’s release so that the agency could take custody to explore whether to deport him. But records show that Ramirez was released by local authorities a week after without ICE having ever received notification regarding the detainer.
Ramirez was rearrested July 16 of this year on an unrelated charge. But by then, ICE had changed its outlook towards Ramirez. The agency declined to issue a detainer at that time because Ramirez’s case history showed he had no prior deportations or felony criminal convictions.
So why did they changed their outlook? Simply put, it was President Obama’s executive actions on immigration that were announced in November, which shifted focus to going after violent criminal felons and threats to national security. Those illegal immigrants who committed misdemeanors, even violent acts, were thus considered low priority.
“I think this is a national issue – it starts with administration and their policies,” Santa Maria police chief Ralph Martin said about Pharis’ attack. “You can draw a direct line to this governor and Legislature.”
“I am not remiss to say that from Washington DC to Sacramento, there is a blood trail to Marilyn Pharis’ bedroom,” he continued.