ICE Chief Slams Sonoma County on Fox News
Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan took another shot at Sonoma County and its sheriff Rob Giordano during an appearance on Fox News Tuesday. It’s the second time in three months that President Trump’s top immigration enforcer has singled out Sonoma County for its sanctuary policies.
“In Sonoma County a few weeks ago an illegal alien was arrested (and) we put a detainer on him,” Homan said. “Sonoma County didn’t honor the detainer. What happened? Two weeks later he killed that girl, now she has two young daughters without a mother.”
Homan was referencing the October murder of Veronica Cabrera Ramirez. Her boyfriend Israel Estrada-Margos, a 38-year-old undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, has been accused of the crime.
Estrada-Margos was booked on charges of domestic battery over the summer and was flagged by ICE officials. They asked county authorities to hold him for up to 48 hours so that he could be taken in for deportation. Sonoma County did not honor the request, said Homan.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has said it believes holding an inmate beyond the point of release because of immigration status is unconstitutional, citing recent court decisions.
According to Homan, ICE agents were informed less than 20 minutes before the inmate’s release.
Going forward, ICE won’t be informed when a person like Ramirez is being released after domestic battery at all. That’s because of a new policy implemented by Giordano -- ironically, on the same day of the homicide -- that limits cooperation with ICE except when the individual has been convicted of a felony listed by the California Trust Act.
Ramirez’s murder has placed Sonoma County and California’s sanctuary policies back in the spotlight.
Between Ramirez's death and the state’s sanctuary state law that took effect Jan. 1, California can expect to see ICE step up its scrutiny and presence, according to the chief.
“California better hold on tight,” Homan warned. “We’re going to be all over the place.”