ICE: We could’ve prevented illegal repeat offender from stabbing train rider

Oct 2, 2019, 6:49 PM
Nathalie Asher with the Northwest Detention Center, a privately run federal detention center in Tacoma. (Nicole Jennings, KIRO Radio)
(Nicole Jennings, KIRO Radio)

Were it not for sanctuary policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement could have prevented a random, violent knife attack on a Seattle light rail train last month, according to Nathalie Asher, ICE regional field officer director.

Nery Jovani Acevedo-Sanchez, also known as Jesus Sanchez, was arrested after allegedly stabbing a father traveling with his son to a Huskies game. The wound was not fatal and the victim was taken to the hospital for treatment.

ICE exclusively informed the Dori Monson Show on Tuesday that Sanchez is in the country illegally.

Asher stated that ICE has known about Sanchez’ presence in the U.S. since 2013, when he was arrested and jailed in Des Moines for driving with a suspended license. As sanctuary policies were not yet in effect in 2013, ICE lodged a detainer with the jail and took him into federal custody once he was released from jail.

ICE offers rare tour of Tacoma detention facility to show ‘humane conditions’

“That was at a time when we still had strong working relationships with our local law enforcement partners and the state,” Asher said.

However, the severity of the crime he was arrested for did not qualify Sanchez as a priority for detention, so he was put in an Alternative to Detention program.

By 2017, however, Sanchez had been convicted of two counts of domestic violence and violating a protection order. These crimes were serious enough to qualify him for deportation.

“He is now posing a danger to public safety — at least to someone,” Asher said. “He has a victim out there and he has displayed this violent tendency.”

ICE lodged another detainer, but because of sanctuary policies, the jail did not work with the federal agency. Sanchez was released back onto the streets.

Two years later, he allegedly stabbed a stranger on a light rail train in Seattle.

Problems caused by state sanctuary policies

Asher worries that once sanctuary policies are enforced throughout the state, more dangerous offenders who could have been deported will end up back in the community to harm people.

“We really have to let the public know of the ramifications of what is going to become this state sanctuary that is in place,” she said.

The new law that designates Washington as a sanctuary state will cause a “complete lockdown” of law enforcement agency cooperation in December 2021, according to Asher.

“State and local agencies will not provide any information to federal immigration authorities for immigration enforcement,” she explained.

She does not blame local law enforcement agencies in the slightest, noting that they “want to work with us.” Instead, she said, it is the politicians in power who are to blame for sanctuary policies.

Among many Puget Sound politicians, the name “ICE” almost seems synonymous with a swear word — but Asher said that this characterization of the agency results from misinformation. For example, social media posts commonly refer to ICE conducting raids on immigrant families at their homes, but Asher said that this is not the true picture.

“We do not conduct raids — we conduct targeted enforcement actions,” she said.

Ironically, as she reminded listeners, sanctuary policies have actually led to more “average” illegal immigrants being picked up by ICE on the streets. Before sanctuary policies were established, ICE used to focus almost solely on deporting those illegal immigrants who had committed crimes and were sitting in jails.

“Now, I have to be in the communities where you don’t want me as a consequence of sanctuary cities … Now, because the doors have been not shut, but slammed, on us, that we cannot do this any longer, that they don’t honor our detainers, I am forced to redirect those assets to go into the communities, to conduct that target enforcement action,” Asher said.

And because of due diligence, people found with the targeted immigrant may come under ICE’s microscope as well.

“Previously, that would have not been the case, had we been allowed straight into the jail,” she said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Marysville School District...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Parent permission for Marysville school clubs becomes `hot button’ over LGTBQ issue

The intent to the proposed policy change, Atchley said, is to assure that parents “have the ability to know where their children are at all times.”
4 days ago
OlyToys, Don Wolph's toy refurbishing business in Olympia....
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Olympia Toy-Restorer ordered by County to kick disabled friend off his property

Wolph told Dori’s listeners, Thurston County officials have told him he and his wife of 47 years must evict their friend because “she cannot live on my property for more than 30 days.”
5 days ago
Sound Transit employee records video of homeless individuals on light rail. (Jason Rantz/KTTH Radio...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: The Sound Transit rolling drug den

Onboard: a series of apparently homeless drug addicts, riding the train while smoking various drugs or passed out across the seats.
7 days ago
A ferry and a tanker pass through the Puget Sound near Seattle's iconic Pike Place Market on March ...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Internal ferry system memos show PR image more important than service

The Washington State Ferry System preemptively slashed sailings rather than face ongoing negative publicity for possible service disruptions.
8 days ago
Bus driver Treva White   in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Metro driver worries about bus passengers’ exposure to secondhand drug smoke

How much secondhand smoke from drug users riding Metro Transit buses is too much? It’s something 22-year driver worries about for his passengers.
12 days ago
Marc Valladolid (Dori Monson Show)...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Mother of slain son believes justice system for teens ‘doesn’t make much sense’

The mother of a 22-year-old man shot and killed in Renton said she is nervously anticipating a court ruling involving the 14-year-old accused shooter.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
ICE: We could’ve prevented illegal repeat offender from stabbing train rider