Californian county sheriff blames officer's death on sanctuary law
Last Updated: 2018-12-29 11:27 | Xinhua
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A Californian county sheriff on Friday blamed the death of a police officer on the state's sanctuary laws, which prevent local authorities from according cooperation to federal officials in immigration-related law enforcement.

Sheriff Adam Christianson of Stanislaus County in Californian Central Valley said that police officer Ronil Singh would have been alive if the suspect, who is an illegal immigrant from Mexico and shot Singh to death Wednesday, had been deported for drunk driving offenses long time ago.

Christianson told a press conference on Friday that 32-year-old Gustavo Perez Arriaga was arrested earlier in the day for killing Singh who pulled over Arriaga for suspected driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol on Wednesday. Arriaga was found to have two prior DUI convictions and ties to a criminal gang.

The sheriff said Arriaga, a native of Mexico, had been in the United States illegally for several years after he sneaked into Arizona State and worked as a farm laborer in the Stanislaus County area.

Christianson criticized California's sanctuary laws for blocking local law-enforcing authorities from reporting Arriaga's status of illegal immigrant to federal immigration officials.

California passed a statewide sanctuary policy that took effect in early 2018, limiting local authorities' cooperation with federal officials in enforcing nationwide immigration law.

As a sanctuary state, California said the policy was put in place to reduce the fear of deportation and possible family break-up among people who are staying in the United States illegally, so that they would be more willing to report crimes to local police department and use health and social services.

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