SJ Slaying Rekindles Debate Over South Bay Sanctuary Policy

Heated accusations and finger pointing on Wednesday followed the arrest an undocumented immigrant in the brutal slaying of a San Jose woman.

Carlos Carranza, 24, a transient is behind bars at Santa Clara County jail, suspected in the killing of 59-year-old Bambi Larson at her South San Jose home. The case has re-ignited the fight between San Jose and Santa Clara County over sanctuary policies and whether the slaying could have been prevented.

Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza
Photo credit: San Jose Police Department

Carranza, an undocumented immigrant and admitted gang member, has a long criminal history, including prior convictions for false imprisonment, battery on a police officer, trespassing and burglary. Immigration authorities said they tried to deport Carranza nine times.

On Wednesday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo led a public attack on Santa Clara County’s sanctuary policy, which disregards requests by ICE to detain undocumented immigrants in custody beyond their release dates ..

“There’s never been a court in this county that has deemed it unconstitutional for the county to pick up the phone and call federal authorities when they have a predatory felon who is due to be released into a community,” Liccardo said.

An ICE spokesman said he’s baffled by the county’s claims that ICE has at times not shown up to take custody of a person in a timely manner. The agency says the county has not cooperated with ICE since October 2011..

San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia also finds the county’s claim puzzling.

“I would hope that we’re cooperating a little bit better than just simply saying that somebody didn’t show up,” Garcia said.

The county counsel says there is no exception for violent offenders when talking constitutional rights and due process. He says ICE needs a judicial warrant, not just a detainer.

“The real question here is why isn’t ICE seeking a judicial warrant,” said James Williams, Santa Clara County counsel. “In the occasions they have, and sometimes they have, not very often, when they get one, those we honor. We have always honored warrants.”

Carranza in due in court for arraignment Thursday.

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