‘This is yet another death that could have been prevented, had local law enforcement cooperated with ICE toward the common goal of public safety…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Seattle law-enforcement ignored an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer and released a violent illegal immigrant, who went on to murder a man while he slept in his own home this month.
The Mexican national, Julio Cruz–Velazquez, was arrested earlier this month after he opened fire on the sleeping 56-year-old man’s home, killing him, according to KIRO-7.
Cruz–Velazquez has a long criminal history, according to ICE, but has not been deported because of Seattle’s harmful sanctuary city policies.
“Local law enforcement failed the public in this case on multiple occasions,” Nathalie Asher, Seattle field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, said in a statement.
Prior to Cruz–Velazquez’s most recent arrest for murder, ICE had lodged two prior detainer requests with the city’s police department.
“Had those detainers been honored, or had ICE been notified on any of the other multiple occasions he was arrested and released from local jails, we would have taken him into custody,” Asher said.
“Regrettably, politics continues to prevail over public safety,” she added. “The detainers were ignored, and Cruz–Velazquez was released to the street.”
Cruz–Velazquez’s criminal history can be traced all the way back to 2000, when he first illegally crossed the border.
He was arrested multiple times for robbery and other violent crimes between 2010 and 2016. In 2018, he was charged with rape and domestic violence. All of ICE’s detainers were ignored by Seattle law enforcement.
“Because of this recklessness, a man who immigrated legally to the U.S. has lost his life, allegedly at the hands of a repeat criminal and immigration offender,” Asher said. “This is yet another death that could have been prevented, had local law enforcement cooperated with ICE toward the common goal of public safety, as we have so effectively done in years past.”
Cruz–Velazques was just one of many illegal immigrants Seattle released. Since 2018, the city has failed to fulfill 370 detainers, leading to the release of more than 290 dangerous illegal immigrants, according to the Immigration Reform Law Institute.
“State and local elected leaders like to congratulate themselves for the compassion of their sanctuary policies,” said Dale Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI, “but they are actually bringing violent crime and even death to their residents.”