Candidate for mayor Paul McNamara has responded to comments by Mayor Sam Abed which held the Sanctuary City Law up for criticism as it relates to the murder on September 15 allegedly carried out by a man who had been deported six times previously.
McNamara told The Times-Advocate: “The recent tragic murder of a brother by his brother by an undocumented alien has once again brought up the so called Sanctuary City debate. If prevention and better public safety is the goal, than I would argue a debate centered on Sanctuary Cities does not move us toward that goal.”
McNamara added, “It’s convenient and politically convenient to blame the California Values Act as the cause of this tragedy, but anyone who read the law knows that in practical terms law enforcement has not been hampered, rather simply the lines between state and federal authority were clarified. The law did not cause this tragedy or hamper police from preventing it. A better approach is to address why people join gangs in the first place and why our borders are not secure. Escondido especially needs to focus on their own efforts in gang prevention.”
Last week The Times-Advocate asked Police Chief Craig Carter to comment on whether his department was hampered by the law as it related to apprehending the man accused of the murder.
Carter told the TA: “Being that both EPD and ICE were looking for Manuel Eliseo Martinez at the same time, it would have been helpful if we could have shared relevant information in order to ‘work together’ to find and apprehend a very violent individual in our community. The elimination of the partnership between ICE and EPD did remove a valuable tool from our toolbox while searching for Martinez. Since the passing of SB 54, we have completely abolished that level of cooperation. I would not be able to speculate whether SB 54 might have contributed to Martinez remaining in the City of Escondido, but I can tell you that before SB 54, Martinez was arrested and deported six times. We do know for certain, Martinez was not arrested or deported at all after the passing of SB 54, a bill that in effect eliminated collaboration between ICE and EPD.”