SAN FRANCISCO – Officials in the Northern California city of San Jose on Wednesday criticized so-called sanctuary policies they say prevented federal authorities from detaining a gang member in the country illegally before he allegedly killed a woman.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, stalked Bambi Larson's neighborhood before beating and stabbing her to death in her home. The immigrant from El Salvador had been on the radar of Immigration and Customs Enforcement since 2013, when he failed to show up in immigration court.
Arevalo Carranza, who was homeless and had several convictions for felony offenses, was arrested Monday night in the Feb. 28 killing of Larson, 59, a manager at medical testing company Roche Sequencing Solutions in San Jose.
A self-admitted gang member, he has a long criminal history in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles spanning five years. He was on probation for the possession of methamphetamine, paraphernalia, false imprisonment and burglary, Garcia said.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said Wednesday it's time for Santa Clara County officials to reconsider a policy that ignores federal hold requests for predatory felons. He said he has been urging county officials to treat violent criminals in the country illegally differently from the rest of those who entered the U.S. without legal permission.
"We're not asking the county to detain anyone a minute longer than the law and the constitution allow," Liccardo told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
"We simply want them to pick up the phone and tell ICE so that the violent felon is not released back into our streets," he added.
Garcia, the police chief, also criticized Santa Clara County's policy during a Tuesday news conference announcing Arevalo Carranza's arrest.
"We're not here, nor should we be here, to shield admitted gangsters and violent criminals regardless of their immigration status," Garcia said.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese said in a statement that the county cannot hold immigration suspects for ICE without a warrant or a judicial order unless the person is currently charged with a crime.
He said the county has for many years provided ICE with real-time local and state-level data on who is in custody and when they will be released.
"Despite having this information, ICE does not show up to take custody in a timely manner to avoid release into the community," Cortese said.
Cortese didn't address the Arevalo Carranza case in his statement, saying he had little information on him.
His spokeswoman, Janice Rombeck, said Cortese was traveling Wednesday and was not available to comment.