Will San Francisco Honor the ICE Detainer Request for Pelosi’s Attacker? And Would ICE Have Issued One If the Victim Had Been Someone Else?
San Francisco finds itself in an uncomfortable situation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has issued a detainer request for David DePape, the Canadian illegal alien who is charged with the brutal assault on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. ICE, which under policy edicts by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, doesn’t do much enforcing these days, finds itself in a similarly uncomfortable spot by even issuing a detainer request.
San Francisco generally ignores ICE detainer requests under an ordinance, the preamble to which declares, “It is hereby affirmed that the City and County of San Francisco is a City and County of Refuge” for illegal aliens. The ordinance makes clear, that with few exceptions, no cooperation will be given to ICE when it attempts to take custody of a deportable criminal alien held by the city or county.
Even under more enforcement minded administrations, ICE issues few detainer requests to sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco, knowing that doing so is just a waste of time. Thus, the mere issuance of a detainer request for DePape smacks of disparate – shall we say, inequitable – treatment because of the political connections of the victim. Would ICE have bothered to ask San Francisco to detain a criminal illegal alien, if the victim had been Paul Smith or Paul Jones, instead of Paul Pelosi?
We can only speculate about the answer. But back in 2017, when the administration in office wasn’t deliberately tying ICE’s hands, the agency published a list of detainer requests that were denied by sanctuary jurisdictions. Among those listed in a report from February of that year was a detainer request denial by San Francisco for a Cuban national with an assault conviction. And if San Francisco refused to turn over a criminal alien who feloniously assaulted someone then, will they similarly refuse to detain an illegal alien charged with assaulting the husband of a high ranking government official?
For now, San Francisco is spared this choice. DePape is being held without bail, so there is no chance that he will be released right away, and San Francisco will not have to decide whether to inform ICE when he is being cut loose. But DePape does have a bail hearing coming up in the next week or so. Of course if he does get out on bail, ICE will not have to rely on San Francisco to let them know when and where. Every news organization on the planet will be there to cover it.