A 23 year-old Mexican national who is illegally present in the United States is facing murder charges in Missouri. He was released from the custody of the Middlesex County Jail earlier this year after a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) detainer was declined.
Luis Rodrigo Perez was being held at Middlesex County Jail in December of last year on domestic violence charges. ICE issued a detainer and requested notification prior to his release, so that he may be taken into ICE custody and placed in removal proceedings. In accordance with their local policy, Middlesex County Jail did not honor the detainer, did not notify ICE upon completion of the criminal proceedings, and released Perez into the community.
“Yet again, an ICE detainer was ignored and a dangerous criminal alien was released to the streets and is now charged with killing three people,” said ICE Acting Executive Associate Director Corey Price.
“Had ICE’s detainer request in December 2017 been honored by Middlesex County Jail, Luis Rodrigo Perez would have been placed in deportation proceedings and likely sent home to his country – and three innocent people might be alive today. It is past time that localities realize the perils of dangerous sanctuary policies and resume their primary goal of protecting their residents.”
“This tragedy might have been avoided had it not been for the reckless policy required of the Middlesex County Jail by their county officials,” said John Tsoukaris, Field Office Director of ERO Newark. “Despite such policies, ICE ERO will continue to enforce federal immigration law and prioritize public safety in the community.”
After his release from the jail in February of 2018, Perez eventually made his way to Missouri. He has now been charged in a triple murder that recently occurred in Springfield, Missouri.
Tsoukaris further explained, “We have tried unsuccessfully to work with Middlesex County Jail in the interest of public safety to accept detainers and to contact ICE prior to releasing criminals. There have been other cases where ICE detainers were not honored and those released went on to commit serious crimes.
In this most recent case, Perez had a violent history, but despite that, the detainer was not honored. We hope that this tragic turn of events forces Middlesex to reconsider its policy and that the local elected officials stop protecting criminal aliens.”
Perez is one of two men charged with murder in Springfield, Missouri and is accused of triple murder
“It makes no sense why we would be shielding someone who is here illegally from those laws,” said Christian County Sheriff Brad Cole. He is clear where he stands– he says those who break our laws to get into this country should be held accountable, just like any U.S. citizen who breaks the law is held accountable.
“The illegal immigrant was released from Middlesex County there and came right here to the Midwest, right here to Southwest Missouri and killed three people… and we have three innocent people that are no longer here because of “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary counties” that refuse to cooperate with the immigration laws of the U.S.,” Cole said.
The county which has a noncooperation policy with ICE rejected the blame and said it was ICE that dropped the ball.
Officials said they repeatedly have told ICE that they will cooperate only in some instances, such as when someone is convicted of a first- or second-degree offense. They said Perez’s case didn’t reach that level.
Still, they said, ICE had 51 days while Perez sat in jail during which the agency could have tried to get a deportation order for him. The county said it would have honored that order.
“Instead ICE officials chose to do nothing, which places all responsibility of Mr. Perez’s actions squarely upon ICE,” the county government said in its statement.
Police in Missouri say Perez attacked a home from which he had been kicked out. The victims were heard “begging for their lives,” The Associated Press reported, citing charging documents.
Perez later returned and fired on yet another person, authorities said.
Perez still had outstanding warrants from New Jersey, The Associated Press reported.