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Two-time illegal immigrant is a rape suspect in sanctuary city Philadelphia

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The alleged crime could have been prevented if the suspect hadn't twice entered the United States illegal. The Washington Times reported on July 6 that a twice illegal immigrant is a suspected of rape in Philadelphia. The Times reported, “He could become the Willie Horton of the immigration crisis.” The he is Milton Mateo Garcia, and illegal immigrant who was deported to his home country of Honduras about one year ago. He re-entered the country soon after and moved in with relatives in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia was declared a “sanctuary city” welcome illegal immigrants this past April by an executive order of the city's mayor, Michael Nutter. It is policy of the city not to participate in any efforts by federal agents to deport illegal immigrants back to their home countries. The Time reports that “More than 100 communities nationwide have enacted similar policies, with the tacit blessing of the Obama administration.”

The Washington Times reported, “Living and working in sanctuary, Mr. Garcia last month, according to police, approached a 26-year-old Philadelphia doctor who was walking to her home in the city’s fashionable Rittenhouse Square neighborhood after a night out with friends. He is accused of forcing the woman into her apartment and raping her repeatedly. Police said Mr. Garcia then stole the victim’s cellphone and rode away on his bicycle. In perhaps not the smartest of moves, Mr. Garcia kept the victim’s smartphone in his possession. Police said they found him, in part, by calling the phone and locating its signal.”

Garcia is now in prison awaiting trial on rape, kidnapping and robbery charges, but the local police will not release him to federal immigration authorities unless he's convicted of those crimes he's charged with. “As with the case in the 1980s of Horton, a convicted felon whose additional crimes while on prison furlough provoked a political furor, Mr. Garcia’s situation highlights many of the criticisms of the administration’s handling of immigration — from encouraging illegal immigrants to make the journey to the U.S. to failing to secure the border and allowing a patchwork of sanctuary cities and counties where immigrants need not fear deportation,” The Times reported.

Critics of sanctuary city policies say they are part of problem highlighted by cases like this. They say crimes like this can be prevented by enacting very different immigration policies. “There’s some collective blame here,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy at the Center for Immigration Studies. “The city of Philadelphia has made itself a sanctuary and, in doing so, has been shielding lots of criminal aliens from deportation and creating an environment where people have no fear of immigration enforcement.”

Vaughan also pointed to the Obama administration for encouraging cities like Philadelphia to declare themselves illegal-immigrant friendly “sanctuary cities.” These policies, she said, lead to non-cooperation and obstruction of the efforts of federal agents to enforce federal immigration laws. Vaughan said this “creates conditions where criminal aliens are more likely to be released into the community and more likely to be able to victimize people when they could be sent home.”

Despite this case, The Times reports that Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter “fully supports his executive order” declaring the city a “sanctuary city” for illegal immigrants. Regardless, many are blaming the mayor and his policies for contributing to the cause of crimes being needlessly committed by illegal immigrants. Clearly, if Garcia was not allowed back into the country the second time, the alleged rape he is charged with would not have happened.

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