(Gustavo Garcia: Tulare County Sheriff's Office)
A California sheriff announced his officers are "very frustrated" with sanctuary state laws that prevent them from working with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents after the close of a long chase of a twice-deported illegal immigrant.
"We are very frustrated with the fact that the way the laws are set up currently that law enforcement hands are tied,” Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said.
His comments come following the death of 36-year-old Gustavo Garcia, who police say embarked on a 'reign of terror' robbing a convenience store, shooting and killing a person and firing at buildings before crashing a truck that he had stolen in the Fresno area.
Police say during the chase Monday Garcia intentionally drove the wrong way at speeds of up to 100 mph and hit four other cars. Garcia died in the crash.
The immigration agency says it placed a detainer on Garcia last week after he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance. But Boudreaux said he had no choice but to let Garcia go since state law prohibits him from honoring that request unless ICE obtains an arrest warrant with the signature of a federal judge, Fox News reported.
“Gustavo Garcia in times past would have been turned over to ICE officials. Even though it was a misdemeanor charge, they placed a detainer on him. That detainer can no longer be recognized,” Boudreaux said. “That’s how we did it in the past and that’s how we had always done it. And now, that tool has been taken from law enforcement,” he continued. “After [the passage of] SB-54 we no longer have that power." “That tool has been removed from our hands and because of that our county was shot up by a violent criminal that could have easily been prevented had we had the opportunity to reach out to our fellow counterparts,” Boudreaux added.
ICE told local media that it previously deported Garcia in 2004 and 2014 back to Mexico.