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The Washington Times

After slaying, N.Y. county wonders who freed illegal immigrant murder suspect

By Stephen Dinan,


Carlos E. Corrales-Ramirez was wanted in connection with a stabbing in Laurel, Maryland, in February and was arrested a month later by the Border Patrol near the border with Canada.

Authorities in New York are wondering why the 20-year-old Honduran illegal immigrant was free in their community on Saturday when, they say, he stabbed and killed another man.

The Border Patrol says it caught Mr. Corrales-Ramirez near Champlain in March and turned him over to the New York State Police. State police said they sent him to the Clinton County Jail to be extradited to Maryland, but court records show Maryland still has an active warrant, indicating he never made it that far.

The case has reignited questions about the porous border, sanctuary cities and their role in crime.

"We want some answers here," Rensselaer County Executive Steven F. McLaughlin told The Washington Times on Tuesday. "One of my constituents was murdered by somebody that was already caught. … We don't know really anything other than he was apprehended and somehow not sitting in jail or not deported."

Answers are in short supply.

The Clinton County Sheriff's Office was looking into the matter on Tuesday. So were police in Laurel, where Mr. Corrales-Ramirez faces charges of assault and reckless endangerment after a 23-year-old man was stabbed near a 7-Eleven last winter.

Mr. Corrales-Ramirez is being held in Rensselaer County in connection with the slaying of Jario J. Hernandez-Sanchez, 28, on Saturday.

Troy police haven't divulged many details besides the suspect's name and his arrest on Sunday in the same general neighborhood where Mr. Hernandez-Sanchez was killed. Police said they were trying to determine a motive and a timeline.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, New York Republican and chair of the House Republican Conference, said blame for the "now deadly immigration crisis in New York" lies with President Biden, Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, all Democrats.

"We must immediately secure our borders and stop incentivizing illegal immigration to prevent further tragedies like this from occurring," Ms. Stefanik said in a statement.

She said legislation that cleared the Republican-led House would stiffen border controls, and she urged Democrats, who control the Senate, to pass the bill and send it to Mr. Biden.

It's not clear when Mr. Corrales-Ramirez first entered the country.

Given his age, he may have entered as part of the surge of illegal immigrant children — a population that has bedeviled authorities, who are required to deliver the most lenient treatment, despite concerns about gang ties and other assimilation issues.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it was unable to comment on his immigration history, citing privacy matters.

Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said Mr. Corrales-Ramirez's case should be "very concerning."

"It's easy to understand why the Rensselaer officials are so upset," she said. "A dangerous illegal alien has repeatedly and apparently easily managed to stay a step ahead of police and Border Patrol and arrived to threaten public safety in their community. More and more are arriving in New York City, thanks to the open border, and overflowing into upstate New York. Other upstate communities should be preparing for how to handle that overflow and the inevitable problems because there is no end in sight."

Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, confirmed Tuesday that it apprehended Mr. Corrales-Ramirez in March as an illegal immigrant. When agents ran his information, they found the warrant from Maryland and turned him over to New York.

State police said he was processed and turned over to Clinton County for extradition.

Mr. McLaughlin, the Rensselaer County executive, said his jurisdiction is the only one in the state that cooperates with ICE through a 287(g) agreement, which checks the identities of people booked into jail against federal databases to determine whether they are deportable.

"My call has always been to other counties, 'What is wrong with you? Why are you not stepping up and at least running them through the database when they're already in jail?" Mr. McLaughlin told The Times.

New York has also become a hot destination for illegal immigrants showing up at the southern border. Drawn by New York City's promises of free housing and health care, they have overwhelmed resources. The city has been pushing out the illegal immigrants to other regions of the state.

Ms. Hochul and the Biden administration have been chiding each other over the situation, though both sides are focused less on cutting the flow of people and more on exploring ways to welcome them and set them up to support themselves faster.

Mr. McLaughlin said he was seeking answers from the governor about the slaying in his county, and he warned other counties to brace themselves.

"Sadly, this is not going to be an isolated incident across this country," he said.

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