ICE officials say an immigration hold was placed on a man in the country illegally in March. The man was jailed on domestic violence charges but contrary to ICE's request to hold him, the Multnomah County jail let him free. 45-year-old Martin Gallo-Gallardo has since been accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in a ditch near a Clackamas County summer camp.
This is the latest case to bring Oregon's controversial sanctuary city law into question, and voters are set to decide whether to repeal the law in next weeks election. The law has been in effect for 31 years and has been an impediment to the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions called out states like Oregon and California for harboring criminals who are in the country illegally. This latest case also highlights the worsening relationship between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
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ICE officials say they first put a hold on Gallo-Gallardo on March 6 after he was arrested on a felony fourth-degree assault charge for assaulting his wife. ICE provided media outlet Oregon Live with proof of the detainer, and the date it was issued is highlighted in the image above.
Gallo-Gallardo is a citizen of Mexico and entered the United States illegally, according to ICE. He also has a long history of "catch-and-release" with Border Patrol. ICE asked the Multnomah county jail to alert them before his release so they could take custody of him so he could be deported. Multnomah County sheriff's officials deny receiving an ICE request but say even if they did they wouldn't have followed it anyway, according to sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Brandon White.
The sheriff's argued that the detainers are "administrative requests" and not criminal warrants, therefore, they don't meet state and federal law. Gallo-Gallardo was simply able to post bail and was released. A short time later prosecutors dismissed the felony assault charges because his wife and daughter refused to cooperate. A grand jury also failed to return an indictment, according to court documents.
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Just this week, Gallo-Gallardo was charged with the murder of his wife Coral Rodriguez Lorenzo, 38, who he stabbed to death. According to an ICE spokeswoman, if Multnomah county jail had alerted them to his release so he could have been taken into custody by federal officers then perhaps he would not have had the chance to murder his wife.
Tanya J. Roman, a spokeswoman for the ICE regional office that covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, said, "ICE maintains that cooperation by local law enforcement is an indispensable component of promoting public safety. It's unfortunate that law enforcement agencies like the Multnomah County jail refuse to work with ICE to promote public safety by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims."
Sheriff Mike Reese said the only time his deputies will hold a person for ICE is when they receive a federal criminal arrest warrant complete with a judge's signature. The Sheriff's Office tried to deflect the blame back on ICE in a statement Friday which said, "ICE is putting our community at risk with their failed enforcement strategy of not using the authority the agency already has to hold people accountable."
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The sheriff's statement continued, "No Oregon jail can hold someone on a civil detainer based on the federal court case Miranda Oliveras v. Clackamas County. The U.S. Attorney's Office knows this, ICE knows this, but they persist in pursuing this failed strategy. Federal officials had ample time to do their job. They had his name, address, and his telephone number. It is disingenuous to make this claim when they failed to follow the process for even entering the civil detainer information into any law enforcement database. MCSO wants to make clear that we did not receive any information from ICE regarding this individual."
ICE spokeswoman Tanya J. Roman responded saying, "In addition to false claims that ICE never filed a detainer, the county's statement on this matter ignores the fact that there is no mechanism for a judge to issue a criminal warrant for an administrative immigration arrest. Oregon's sanctuary policies fail to recognize federally established processes for the enforcement of immigration law, and they do so at the expense of the safety of their citizens."
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