For Immediate Release: August 22, 2016
Contact: Ross Wolfe 610-745-1626
Jim Pio, candidate for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 172nd district, spoke out regarding Philadelphia’s sanctuary city status. “Philadelphia’s sanctuary city policy is in direct opposition to our country’s laws and puts all Philadelphians at risk.”
Pio’s comments reference the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which requires that local law enforcement cooperate with federal law enforcement when illegal immigrants are arrested. However, Philadelphia’s sanctuary city policy protects illegal immigrants unless they are convicted of a first-or-second-degree felony involving violence.
“There has been a string of crimes committed by illegal immigrants over the past few years that have horrified our city’s residents and traumatized the families of the victims. Most recently, Ramon Aguirre-Ochoa was allowed to remain in the city after he re-entered the country following deportation and after being acquitted of aggravated assault charges.” Mr. Pio continued “Re-entering this country after deportation is a felony. So Mr. Aguirre-Ochoa, a felon, was allowed in our city without apprehension. And in 2015, when Mr. Aguirre-Ochoa was arrested on charges of domestic aggravated assault, Philadelphia refused to cooperate with federal authorities who wanted to deport him. He now sits in prison for raping a child. His latest crime was preventable without protections given to him by our city government.”
Pio concluded by addressing that government’s role is to enforce existing law and protect its citizens. “This is not about what country a person is from. As someone whose grandparents immigrated to this country and who married into a Latino family, I know the benefits legal immigration can bring to our neighborhoods. However, this is about keeping dangerous criminal off our streets. Our government’s most basic obligation is to protect Americans. Upholding a sanctuary policy undermines our government’s duty to protect, allows crimes to be committed that could have been prevented and, most importantly, it puts our neighbors at risk.”
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