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Why Could Man In Paul Pelosi Attack Overstay Visa For 20 Years?

David DePape, the man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi, is a Canadian who entered the U.S. nearly two decades ago on a tourist visa and remained, reports USA Today. That fact emerged only because he was charged with a serious crime, which is the most common way for U.S. immigration to catch up with people who are in the country without authorization. A San Francisco judge on Friday kept Depape, charged with attacking the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in jail without bail while he awaits trial. Prosecutors alleged he knocked Paul Pelosi unconscious with a hammer in his home on Oct. 28 during a home break-in. DePape was able to stay so long in the U.S. without being arrested and deported, while Latino and Black migrants are frequently deported, underscoring inherent biases in the immigration system, said Muzaffar Chishti of the Migration Policy Institute. "There are large numbers of Canadians, large numbers of Irish, large numbers of Poles who aren’t in the country legally, but they don’t think of them as illegal because they don’t fit the profile," Chishti said.

Federal records show that DePape entered the U.S. at the San Ysidro bridge crossing between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego on Mar. 8, 2008, on a B2 tourist visa. Even if immigration officials had been alerted of DePape overstaying his visa, they lack the manpower to locate, arrest and deport him, Chishti said. By the time DePape's visa expired, he had likely moved residences, making it nearly impossible for ICE agents to locate him, Chishti said. Instead, ICE agents tend to focus on "high yield" targets: in other words, migrants who have committed serious crimes or are considered national security risks. ICE requested an immigration detainer on DePape with the San Francisco County Jail on Tuesday, four days after his arrest.


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