The man accused killing three in a drunk driving crash in Knights Landing is in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for being in the country illegally.

Ismael Huazo-Jardinez, a Mexican national, was arrested on May 4 for vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI, according to the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities say 38-year-old Jose Pacheco, 34-year-old Anna Pacheco and their 10-year-old son Angel Pacheco were killed when Huazo-Jardinez crashed his truck into the trailer in which they were sleeping.

Mariana, the Pacheco’s 11-year-old daughter, was taken to the hospital in critical condition. On May 7, her condition was updated to "fair," according to Carole Gan, the UC Davis Health spokesperson.

ICE confirmed Tuesday that Huazo-Jardinez is an "illegally present Mexican national" and was in the department's custody pending immigration proceedings. In the statement, ICE wrote that Huazo-Jardinez was previously caught by Border Patrol agents while in Arizona, and granted voluntary return to Mexico in February 2011.

Legal immigrants from Mexico are eligible for voluntary return, which means that the person admits that they are in the country illegally and agree to return as soon as possible.

On Wednesday, ICE spokesperson Paul Prince issued a news release concerning frequently asked questions about Huazo-Jardinez, the details surrounding his initial bail and what the agency can do moving forward.

(Note: Questions and answers were both generated by ICE)

Q1. Can you tell me where he was arrested and any details of the arrest?

A1. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Sacramento) learned through multiple sources that illegally present Mexican national Ismael Huazo-Jardinez was released on bail from Sutter County Jail pending criminal proceedings. Subsequently, ICE Deportation Officers (DOs) initiated surveillance on a previously known address of record for Huazo-Jardinez.  At approximately 3 p.m., May 7,  ICE DOs arrested HUAZO-Jardinez without incident. He will remain in ICE custody pending the disposition of his immigration proceedings. On a case by case basis, ICE works with local law enforcement agencies to accommodate requests for aliens to appear in court.

Q2. Did ICE send a detainer request to Sutter County before he was released on bail?

A2. By the time ICE learned of his most recent arrest and detainment at Sutter County Jail and before we could lodge a detainer to take him into ICE custody, Ismael Huazo-Jardinez was released on bail pending criminal proceedings. Additionally, there were no previous detainers lodged for Huazo-Jardinez. In February 2011, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended him in Arizona and granted him voluntary return to Mexico. He illegally re-entered at some point thereafter.

Q3. Is he being held in and will he remain in a federal facility?

A3. Ismael Huazo-Jardinez will remain in ICE custody pending the disposition of his immigration proceedings. With regard to custody determinations, the decision to detain or release an alien is made based upon the individual facts and circumstances of each case. ICE may exercise prosecutorial discretion to temporarily stay or defer execution of a removal order, but such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and do not serve to permanently postpone the alien’s removal from the United States, consistent with federal immigration law. On a case by case basis, ICE works with local law enforcement agencies to accommodate requests for aliens to appear in court.

Q4. As a sanctuary state, why would ICE return him to state custody knowing Ca. does not honor detainers?

A4. On a case by case basis, ICE works with local law enforcement agencies to accommodate requests for aliens to appear in court.

Q5. In cases like this – where an illegal immigrant makes bail – on a serious charge or violent felony – is there a nexus between county sheriffs or prosecutors and ICE – or only in NON SANCTUARY cities / counties /states.

A5. ICE maintains that cooperation by local law enforcement is an indispensable component of promoting public safety. It’s unfortunate that current local and state laws and policies tie the hands of local law enforcement agencies that want and need to work with ICE to promote public safety by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims. Sanctuary policies not only provide a refuge for illegal aliens, but they also shield criminal aliens who prey on people in their own and other communities.

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