SALINAS – A young Salinas man who earned temporary legalization under a program promoted during the Obama administration is awaiting deportation in a Northern California detention center.
Juan Manuel Martinez, 19, had pleaded no contest to trespassing in March, and his attorney, Miguel Hernandez, said Martinez was expected to go home from the Monterey County Jail after a judge sentenced him to time served. Instead, his family was told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had placed a hold on him.
[‘Dreamer’ Picked Up By ICE In Monterey County Jail, by Claudia Menendez, Mercury News, April 28, 2017]
And this plea is after he obtained his Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA). And he pled down from much more serious crimes.
Although Martinez was originally charged with possession of marijuana and meth, he ended up just pleading to a minor charge of trespassing, which should not have warranted immigration detention, his attorneys said.
John Mineau, chief deputy for corrections with Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, said Martinez was flagged by ICE as soon as he was arrested for having a gang affiliation and possessing drugs on jail grounds. Martinez had driven a friend to jail, where he was caught with marijuana and meth in his car.
“We don’t have a 5-mile perimeter so we patrol around to prevent people from introducing” drugs into the jail, he said. “We take that stuff very seriously.”
So, this gangbanger brought drugs to a jail. Not very bright. And despite his claims after he was placed in deportation proceedings to the contrary, he is a gangbanger, he admitted to it when arrested.
Monterey County Sheriff's Office Sheriff Steve Bernal had said there was a form that is filled out for inmates asking if they or a family member are affiliated with a gang. The form for 19-year-old Juan Manuel Martinez indicated he or a family member was affiliated with a gang, when in fact he personally was not...
“(He) got mixed up at the wrong place, at the wrong time and had a conviction of a simple trespass. Exiting the jail ICE decided they were going to detain him and he has been detained ever since,” said Zarazua.
[Salinas Teen Dreamer To Be Released This Afternoon, by Paul Dudley, KION, May 1, 2017]
Wrong place and wrong time is the usual excuse for criminals and gang members. And there is no explanation as to what the "mistake" was that identified him as a gang member, but since he filled out the form himself or answered the question in the affirmative to a deputy, the chance of a mistake is about nil. And not the "he personally was not" which implies a family member was or the person with whom he was arrested was a relative who was a gang member. Now that should be enough for the government to deport him. Why is he associating with gang members at a minimum, but, again, he admitted to deputies when he was arrested that he was a gang member. This is very important during intake of arrestees, as persons from certain gangs must be separated in custody from those in other gangs. This was not a mistake, except the mistake in admitting one was a gang member because of the immigration consequences.
Note also that drug users and drug dealers are not allowed to immigrate to the United States.
(B) Controlled substances
(i) Conviction.-Any alien who at any time after admission has been convicted of a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)), other than a single offense involving possession for one's own use of 30 grams or less of marijuana, is deportable.
(ii) Drug abusers and addicts.-Any alien who is, or at any time after admission has been, a drug abuser or addict is deportable
The real question is why was this criminal alien, drug user, and gang member allowed to have the charges dropped by someone in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?
His attorneys were able to free him during a bond hearing on May 4. Five days later, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security filed a motion to dismiss Martinez’s deportation proceedings. The motion was granted on May 30.
“When the government submitted the motion (to dismiss)… at that time we were starting to celebrate,” said Blanca Zarazua, Martinez’s attorney. “We had not popped the piñata, but we certainly purchased one. It was a very good sign.”
For them, the court’s ruling is validation of their claims.
“The government attorney would not have initiated the motion had it not been such a compelling case for dismissal,” Zarazua said. “We have been saying all along that this never should have happened.”
[‘Dreamer’ Picked Up By ICE In Monterey Jail Won’t Be Deported, by Claudia Meléndez Salinas, Monterey Herald, June 14, 2017]
Now someone ordered the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorney, an attorney employed by the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) in the San Francisco Office. The Chief Counsel, Lisa Marie Calero, can be contacted here:
San Francisco Office of Chief Counsel
100 Montgomery Street Suite 200
San Francisco, CA, 94104
Phone: (415) 705-4604
You can contact David Jennings, Field Office Director, ICE Enforcement And Removal Operations (ERO), and ask him why he agreed to have the gangbanger Juan Manuel Martinez released.
San Francisco Field Office
630 Sansome Street Rm 590
San Francisco, CA, 94111
Phone: (415) 844-5512
You can contact John Kramar, District Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), here, and ask him why someone who possesses and obviously uses drugs, and brings those drugs onto jail property, why that person can retain their DACA status.
630 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
But the real problem is that President Trump and Secretary John Kelly are not only continuing the DACA program, but allowing criminal aliens to use the program. Time for both to protect Americans from criminal aliens.