The case of Hector Moran-Espinoza in Philadelphia

Under federal law, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is authorized to lodge immigration detainers with law enforcement partners who have custody of individuals regarding whom ICE has probable cause to believe are “removable aliens”. By means of the detainer, the other law enforcement agency (often a county sheriff's department) is asked to notify ICE in advance of the person's release and to maintain custody for up to 48 hours, so that ICE will have a chance to take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting.

On November 27, ICE arrested Hector Moran-Espinoza, an unlawfully present Guatemalan national, for sexual abuse against children after he was released from custody by the Philadelphia Police Department. This was the second time that Hector Moran-Espinoza was released by the Philadelphia Police onto the streets, despite an ICE detainer having been lodged against him in both cases.

Moran-Espinoza was arrested by the Philadelphia Police Department on April 2, on a horrendous list of charges including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion, statuary sexual assault, rape by forceable compulsion, and photographing, videotaping, depicting on a computer or filming the sexual abuse of children.

On May 9, Hector Moran-Espinoza was again arrested by the Philadelphia Police Department, this time on a list of charges including indecent assault of a person under 13 years of age and endangering the welfare of a child where a parent or guardian commits the offense.

In both cases, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Philadelphia lodged an immigration detainer against Moran-Espinoza on the day of the arrest, and on both occasions the Philadelphia Police Department ignored the detainer and released this child predator onto the streets.

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