An illegal immigrant whom Philadelphia police released from custody last year and is now charged with raping a child under the age of 13-years-old should be a wake up call for the city to end its sanctuary policies, according to Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).
“Too many Americans have fallen victim to crime due to dangerous sanctuary city policies,” Toomey said in a statement Tuesday. “Tragically, a young child in Philadelphia has now been added to the list.”
Ramon Aguirre-Ochoa, a 46-year-old illegal immigrant from Honduras was arrested late last month in Philadelphia for raping a child under the age of 13. Aguirre-Ochoa, who was deported in 2009 and later illegally reentered the U.S., was in the custody of police last year but was released after Philadelphia officials ignored an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) request to hold Aguirre-Ochoa for his immigration violations.
“This man should never have been on Philly’s streets,” Toomey said.
As the Pennsylvania lawmaker explained, “Because Philadelphia is a sanctuary city–a jurisdiction that forbids its law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration authorities–Philadelphia officials refused and instead released Aguirre-Ochoa, allowing him to roam free and eventually rape a young child.”
Toomey, who is up for reelection this year, has been battling sanctuary jurisdictions in recent months. Earlier this summer he introduced legislation that would have withheld certain federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions. Senate Democrats, however, blocked Toomey’s “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary City Policies Act,” preventing it from making it to the Senate floor for a vote.
”The children of Pennsylvania deserve a safe childhood, free from the ravages of sexual assault. The people of Pennsylvania deserve a safe place to live, work, and raise their families,” Toomey said.
According to Toomey, Philadelphia must bring an end to its sanctuary city status and begin cooperating with immigration officials to ensure the safety of its citizens.
“It is past time for the City of Philadelphia to heed the calls of leaders from across the political spectrum and end dangerous sanctuary policies that allow criminals like Ramon Aguirre-Ochoa to prey on our children,” he added.