Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney’s first act after being sworn into office in January 2016 was to sign an executive rescinding the city’s participation in ICE’s Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). Established by Barack Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in 2014, PEP uses biometric data to prioritize the deportation of detained immigrants who have “intentionally participated in an organized criminal gang to further the illegal activity of the gang or poses a danger to national security.”
In 2018, Kenney followed up on his initial act of derelection by declaring Philly a sanctuary city, celebrating the move by doing a little dance with one of his aides, which was captured on video for posterity.
But Kenney hasn’t found much to dance about since an illegal alien he returned to the streets despite having an ICE detainer brutally raped a 5-year-old girl. And now the city’s U.S. attorney is blaming Kenney’s sanctuary policy for giving the perpetrator, Juan Ramon Vasquez (aka Ramon Aguirre-Ochoa), a “free pass.”
According to DownTrend:
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… Vasquez was deported to this native Honduras in 2009. He illegally re-entered the United States and was arrested in 2014 by the Philadelphia PD on non-immigration related charges. As a previously deported illegal alien, ICE placed a detainer on him, but Philadelphia did not honor that. Instead of being deported again, Vasquez was cut loosee [sic] and used that “get out of jail free” card to prey upon a young child.
Not long after his release from Philadelphia custody, Vasquez was arrested again and charged with deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, indecent assault on person less than 13, indecent exposure, and simple assault.
Vasquez is currently serving 8 to 20 years in federal prison and may have another two years tacked on for having illegally reentered the country after his deportation.
In an interview with The Inquirer, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain blasted Philadelphia’s “sanctuary city” status as dangerous and blamed it for “foster[ing] mistrust between the community and local law enforcement” by favoring illegal immigrants. “If it turns out by playing favorites that you’re allowing children to get raped, my office is going to have a big problem with that,” McSwain added.
So what is Kenney’s reaction to all of this? Is he a sadder but wiser man? Don’t count on it.
Mayor Kenney refrained from criticizing McSwain or his office directly during the news conference, which highlighted federal, state, and local efforts to combat gun crimes, but stressed that he disagreed with the U.S. attorney’s opinion.
“We have the highest respect for law enforcement at the federal level,” he said. “We just happen to disagree on this particular issue. …”