It’s not just low-level criminal aliens who are released by sanctuary jurisdictions like Boulder County, Colorado, in defiance of federal law. Sanctuaries apparently will not honor ICE detainer requests even for those convicted of child sex charges.
“On Aug. 7, 2019, in Longmont, Colorado, deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Roberto Gutierrez-Hernandez, 59, a citizen of Mexico, who was convicted July 15, 2019, in the 20th Judicial District Court Boulder County of sex assault on a child,” said an ICE spokeswoman in a statement issued last week to local media.
How was someone convicted of sex assault on a child released after conviction?
In July, Gutierrez-Hernandez was sentenced to 10 years of “sex offender intensive supervised probation,” but no jail time. I confirmed this with the Boulder County district attorney’s office. This explains why he wasn’t locked up even after the conviction. The fact that someone convicted of child sex offenses doesn’t serve a day of prison is also peculiar, but has become very common in blue states like Colorado.
But the story is worse than that. There is a history behind the Gutierrez-Hernandez story that has not been released to the public nor reported on by local media. According to ICE spokeswoman Alethea Smock, Gutierrez-Hernandez was arrested twice in 2017. Before being arrested for the child sex offense in November of that year, he was arrested in March. ICE placed detainers both times. Both detainers were ignored and he was set free, which makes the sex offense 100 percent avoidable. He should have been detained and deported after the March arrest. Moreover, this means an illegal alien sex offender was able to remain in the community for nearly two years through the disposition of this case without being removed.
“ICE lodged a detainer on Roberto Gutierrez-Hernandez, 59, a citizen of Mexico, with the Boulder County (Colorado) Jail after Gutierrez-Hernandez was arrested on local charges in March 2017,” said Smock Thursday to a CR inquiry. “The jail refused to honor the detainer and released him back to the community to reoffend. Gutierrez was later arrested for sexual assault on a child in November 2017, and ICE lodged another detainer with the Boulder County Jail. However, the jail refused to honor the agency’s detainer a second time.”
Court records show he was arrested for aggravated assault in March 2017, but charges were later dismissed. However, that should still have led to his removal. Only legal immigrants with green cards require a conviction to warrant removal.
It wasn’t until last month that Gutierrez-Hernandez was finally sentenced. Even then, he was let out on probation, and had ICE not caught up with him, he would have remained undetected. Colorado, in violation of 8 U.S. Code §1324 and §1373, passed a law earlier this year barring local law enforcement from sharing probation records with ICE. §1324 prohibits states from shielding aliens from detection, while §1373 prohibits them from “prohibit[ing], or in any way restrict[ing], any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”
The purpose of those federal laws is quite simple. With the recidivism problem among criminals on probation, there is no reason why American communities should be on the hook for future crimes committed by illegal aliens. The entire premise of a criminal alien remaining in this country on probation is a laughable paradox. He should complete his “probation” outside the country, where, according to immigration law, he belongs, even without the criminal record.
Shockingly, even in the case of a convicted child sex offender, Colorado and Boulder County in particular will do everything they can to harbor the ultimate public safety concern.
This is a growing problem. As I reported earlier this month, Oregon has also let out criminal aliens charged with child sex offenses, against ICE detainers. Yet because of the DHS’ strict privacy policies, ICE officials are prohibited from proactively publicizing the egregious records of the criminal aliens shielded by sanctuaries or being heralded as “victims” by many in the local and national media.
In this case, for example, the local media is publishing puff pieces sympathetic to this convicted child sex offender and insinuating that ICE is denying this individual health care in the detention facility, but fails to mention the fact that he was a child sex offender who should long ago have been removed from the country if not for the sanctuary policies. Local media has been posting Facebook videos taken by this individual’s son and treating the convicted sex offender as a victim.
“I don’t feel he’s getting adequate care, no,” Robert Gutierrez said about his father, according to the local NBC affiliate. “From the calls that we’ve received from him, he complains a lot from the way the psychologist and doctors treat him. Yesterday we got reports of the psychologist laughing at whatever he was saying.” A group of activists are protesting treatment at the facility.
This is a case of inmates running the asylum. Illegal aliens can break into the country, be ordered deported, commit the most heinous crimes, and then when ICE does the community a favor and enforces the law, ICE agents get treated like the criminals while the child molesters are treated as victims.
It was only by chance that I came across this story and asked the right questions, which allowed ICE to release the truth about this individual. There are endless cases like these on a daily basis, but the information never gets out to the public. There is therefore no robust debate about how to close the criminal alien loopholes and enforce federal law against sanctuary cities.
Particularly jarring here is that Gutierrez-Hernandez was placed on the Colorado sex offender registry in July:
Obviously, we are a very divided country on many issues, including some of the fundamentals of immigration policy. But by definition, if someone has to be placed on a sex offender registry and is therefore a public safety threat, how could we have illegal aliens knowingly listed by local government and not turned over to ICE? The entire purpose of the registry that we don’t lock up sex offenders forever and are forced to take precautions when they are let out. But illegal aliens can and should be removed from the country. How many other illegal aliens remain in this country in plain sight, listed on sex offender registries?
Why is it too much to ask that we don’t harbor other countries’ child sex offenders?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.