Rep. Salmon: Ronnebeck Murder ‘Clear Example’ Of Need To Address ‘Catch-and-Release’ Policies

Apolinar Altamirano was accused of killing a Mesa convenience store clerk on Jan. 22, 2015.
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

The murder of Grant Ronnebeck, allegedly by an illegal immigrant, “is a clear example of why we need to address the failed catch-and-release policies of the Obama administration,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) argued Wednesday during an Oversight and Government Reform panel hearing.

Grant Ronnebeck was shot over a pack of cigarettes while working at a Mesa, Arizona Quik Trip in January. The suspect in the murder, Apolinar Altamirano, is an illegal immigrant with a criminal history.

“Last October 2014, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office reported that 35.4 percent of illegal immigrants arrested within the county and given detainers or holds by ICE are repeat offenders. The means they are caught, arrested, and then they’re flagged by ICE and then they don’t know what happens to them,” Salmon recounted. “Charges against these illegal immigrants have included kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, sexual abuse and child molestation.”

Salmon says there is no excuse for the release policy.

“I believe there is simply no excuse for ICE to be releasing individuals like this back out onto our streets to endanger and kill hardworking Americans,” Salmon said. “Shockingly these violent individuals do not roam our streets due to our lack of knowledge about them, in fact they do it in spite of it.”

Salmon explained that ICE recently acknowledged that the Maricopa County Superior Court had notified the agency about Apolinar Altamirano’s — the man who allegedly killed Ronnebeck — immigration status and criminal history, but he had been released due to the Obama administration policies.

Michael Ronnebeck, Grant Ronnebeck’s uncle, testified before the committee Wednesday. He says Ronnebeck’s murder could have been prevented if Altamirano had been kept in detention and deported.

“We want Grant’s death to be a force for change in the immigration policy of this great nation,” Ronnebeck said.


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