A Mexican national who has been deported by immigration authorities at least 20 times was arrested in Portland, Oregon, on July 24 and charged with robbery, kidnapping, burglary, and sexual assault against two victims, one a 65-year-old woman.
In March, Portland declared itself a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens, meaning local law enforcement does not hold people in city or county jails on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers or cooperate with ICE in enforcing any immigration enforcement actions.
Fox News reported that the illegal alien, Sergio Jose Martinez, who was armed with a knife, allegedly assaulted a woman in the basement of a parking garage, police said. The woman kicked him in the stomach and pressed the panic button in her car, and Martinez fled when authorities arrived.
Police detectives also connected Martinez to another assault just blocks away from the garage, reported KPTV, Fox 21 News in Portland. The station’s report cited court documents stating that Martinez allegedly entered the other woman’s home through an open window, used scarves and socks to blindfold her, then tied her up, gagged her, and sexually assaulted her — slamming her head into the wood floor.
The victim told police Martinez left with her keys, phone, and credit cards, and drove away in her car. She went to a neighbor’s house and called 911.
KPTV also cited court documents stating that the criminal history of Martinez includes at least one felony conviction, along with six misdemeanor convictions and multiple parole violations.
Additionally, court documents connected with an arrest in March for failure to appear on a trespassing charge and possession of meth stated that Martinez “has entry/removal from United States to/from Mexico 20 times with at least 5 probation violations from re-entry.”
Martinez was most recently removed from the United States in November 2016, however, it is not known when or where he re-entered the United States after being deported.
The logical question to ask is why a man with such an extensive criminal background and who has been deported so many times is allowed to freely move about and present a threat to innocent victims. As we noted earlier, the problem stems from Portland’s status as a “sanctuary city.”
Fox News noted that Martinez has been a transient in the Portland area for more than a year and has five probation violations for re-entering the United States.
ICE lodged an immigration detainer against Martinez in December 2016, asking local authorities to notify them before releasing Martinez. However, Portland authorities ignored the request and released him without notifying ICE.
It is, in fact, illegal for cities in Oregon to use their resources to help enforce federal immigration laws, reported Fox. In March, Portland declared itself a “sanctuary city” for what they term “undocumented immigrants" — illegal aliens.
Multnomah County (of which Portland is the county seat) officials and Sheriff Mike Reese wrote a letter to the community earlier this year saying, “The sheriff’s office does not hold people in county jails on ICE detainers or conduct any immigration enforcement actions,” reported KGW, the local NBC-affiliated television station.
During his remarks on July 12 in Las Vegas, to federal, state, and local law-enforcement members about sanctuary cities and efforts to combat violent crime, Attorney General Jeff Session talked about how sanctuary cities encourage criminals. He stated, in part:
Unfortunately, this cooperation [in enforcing immigration law] has been impeded by the policies of some cities and states. Some 300 jurisdictions in this country refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities regarding illegal aliens who commit crimes — even MS-13 gang members. These jurisdictions are protecting criminals rather than their law-abiding residents.
Now I want to be clear about this: local police are not the problem. I know that you want to help. The problem is that politicians have forbidden you to help. That makes all of us — and especially police officers on the front lines — less safe.
When cities like Philadelphia, Boston, or San Francisco advertise that they have these policies, the criminals take notice.
According to a recent study from the University of California Riverside, cities with these policies have more violent crime on average than those that don’t.
An article posted by The New American on July 26 said that President Trump and Sessions were increasing pressure on sanctuary cities by declaring that any state not complying with ICE requests concerning illegal immigrants held in local jails will lose federal grant money.
After the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared on July 24 that the federal government couldn’t order the state to hold suspects in jail after they had served their sentences for the crime they had committed — stating that “detainers are not criminal detainers or criminal arrest warrants” — Sessions changed his request. While it did not ask local authorities to hold the person named in the detainers, it asked local authorities tell ICE 48 hours in advance of a suspect’s release so their agents can come to the jail to interview him.
In addition to asking local authorities to notify ICE 48 hours prior to release of a suspect, the federal government wants to be able to send DHS agents into the local jails to interview suspects prior to their release in order to determine their immigration status.
If Portland officials had complied with this request, it is likely that ICE agents would have identified Martinez as someone who had been deported more than 20 times and taken him into custody to process him for deportation once more.
This would have spared Martinez’s victims from being brutally assaulted.
Image of Sergio Jose Martinez: Screenshot of video by KOIN Channel 6