Gee, where have I heard this story line before? Via ProJo.com:
A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement says that the Providence Police Department dropped the ball last year when it twice arrested a man, now suspected of rape, for other crimes and failed to check on his status as an illegal immigrant who had been ordered deported.
The Providence police counter that they passed the information about the arrests of Marco Riz, 26, of Providence, to the local ICE office, but the federal agency didn’t bother taking any action to have him sent back to Guatemala.
“This is an attempt to find blame,” said Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman. “This department is not interested in finding blame. We are interested in fighting crime.”
A story that gets repeated over and over again as a result of the nation’s comprehensive unwillingness to enforce immigration and deportation laws across the board, clearly, consistently, and unapologetically:
The status of Riz’s immigration slipped past the Providence police, state court system and ICE. The Providence police speculate that Riz may have fallen through the cracks because ICE no longer has an immigration officer assigned to District Court. He retired about a year ago.
On June 8, the police allege that Riz kidnapped a 30-year-old woman as she sat in the passenger seat of an idling SUV in the parking lot of a Stop & Shop supermarket on Quaker Lane in Warwick. Riz is accused of robbing the woman, driving her to Roger Williams Park and raping her there. A few days later, a task force of Providence, Warwick, ICE, state police and federal marshals captured Riz on Linwood Avenue. He has been charged with kidnapping, carjacking, assault with a dangerous weapon, a knife, first-degree robbery and first-degree sexual assault. He has been ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions.
Michael Gilhooly, spokesman for ICE, said that the Providence police should have used the agency’s NLTS telecommunications system to check on Riz’s immigration status. He said that the police would have learned that a federal immigration court, in 2003, had ordered Riz to leave the United States.
Asked why immigration authorities did not move to deport Riz five years ago, Gilhooly said that he was in this country illegally, but there was no evidence that he was a “criminal.” As a result, he was released from custody.
Let’s see Obama and McCain “debate” this at The Race convention, shall we?