Local and federal authorities are imploring California lawmakers to revise the state’s “sanctuary” policies after another illegal immigrant with a known criminal record was charged in a brutal killing in the Democrat-controlled state.
Police say Bambi Larson, 59, was stabbed to death in her home Feb. 28 by Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, an illegal immigrant with a long rap sheet.
Larson, a San Jose mother of two, was beloved by her neighbors.
Larson’s killing comes during a high-stakes debate over illegal immigration and sanctuary city or sanctuary state policies, which divided the nation after the 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle, 32, in San Francisco. Two years later, a jury found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the illegal immigrant and multiple deportee accused of killing Steinle, not guilty of murder.
According to investigators, Carranza, a Salvadoran national, was in the country illegally and had been convicted of more than 10 crimes in the past three years.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had placed a detainer order on Carranza, but ICE’s order repeatedly was ignored due to the state’s sanctuary policies.
“This isn’t about politics. This is about public safety,” Garcia said at a press conference Tuesday. “He could have been turned over [to immigration officials] six times.”
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said in a formal statement: “This is a senseless act, and very well may have been preventable. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of Ms. Larson.”
“How many more people have to be killed or injured before California lawmakers will open discussions to revise the state policy prohibiting local law enforcement agencies from working with ICE to apprehend dangerous criminal aliens?” asked Erik Bonnar, an acting field office director for ICE.
“It’s unfortunate that our communities face dangerous consequences because of inflexible state laws that protect criminal aliens,” Bonnar said. “These sanctuary policies have unintended, but very real, and often tragic consequences to public safety.”
According to Fox News, the Department of Homeland Security detained Carranza at the border in Texas and deported him in 2013:
Two years later he was arrested and accused of possession of [drug] paraphernalia and convicted of burglary in San Jose. In 2016, he was arrested on charges of battery of an officer, resisting arrest and entering and occupying a property. That same year, in October, Carranza was arrested in Los Angeles on battery charges. His final arrest before the murder of Larson was in January, on charges of possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia.
President Donald Trump has made ending sanctuary policies a priority of his administration.
In his recent State of the Union address, Trump said, “In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings.”
According to ICE statistics, the vast majority of arrests are of convicted criminals and illegal immigrants with pending criminal charges.
Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, long has contended that sanctuary policies can lead to dangerous consequences.
“Sanctuary policies create sanctuaries for criminals. They endanger public safety by returning dangerous aliens into local communities,” von Spakovsky said.
The killing has shaken Larson’s San Jose community.
“My daughter just doesn’t want to step out of the house alone,” a neighbor, Nitin Miranda, told CBS affiliate KPIX-TV.