ICE Slams Sanctuary Sheriff For Releasing Homicide Convict

Agency addresses serious public safety threat

Image Credits: US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

An illegal alien convicted of “felony death by motor vehicle” was released in a North Carolina sanctuary county, despite a detainer issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), prompting the agency to publish a scathing statement.

Jose Barajas-Diaz, a Mexican national, was arrested on Jan. 29, 2019, by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and charged with driving while impaired and felony death by motor vehicle.

“Mr. Barajas-Diaz was convicted of felony death by motor vehicle in North Carolina Superior Court for Mecklenburg County on October 24, 2019, and given a five-year suspended sentence with credit for time served,” ICE explained in a press release. “The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office then refused to honor the ICE detainer and instead released him back into the community.”

“By releasing an illegal alien with a serious felony criminal offense resulting in death, Mecklenburg County chose to release a serious public safety threat into the Charlotte community where he was free to potentially harm others until his capture by ICE.”

ICE agents apprehended Barajas-Diaz one week later during a targeted enforcement action.

Acting ICE Director Matt Albence also issued a strong rebuke of sanctuary policies, saying, “This is yet another example of a clear public safety threat being released into North Carolina communities rather than into ICE custody due to local sheriff policies on ICE non-cooperation.”

“Continued decisions to refuse cooperation with ICE serve as an open invitation to aliens who commit criminal offenses that these counties are a safe haven for persons seeking to evade federal authorities, and residents of Mecklenburg County are less safe due to these misguided sanctuary policies.”

ICE says over 500 detainers for criminal foreign nationals were ignored by local authorities across North Carolina during FY 2019.


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