Just days after President Donald Trump was sworn into office, Diddier Pacheo Salazar, an undocumented immigrant, was facing drunk driving charges. Immigration agents from ICE were waiting outside the Portland courtroom to swoop him up and deport him. But, oddly enough, he never emerged. And now the judge who was presiding over the case, Judge Monica Herranz, is under investigation for allegedly letting him sneak out a back door.
“We are trying to determine what exactly happened and whether any rules or policies were in fact violated,” Multnomah County Circuit Court Trial Court Administrator Barbara Marcille told the local Fox affiliate. Salazar’s attorney emerged from the courtroom and told ICE agents that he didn’t know where his client had gone. As you can imagine, ICE agents weren’t too pleased.
“I felt that it was inappropriate and delegitimizes the work of ICE agents who are out there doing their jobs,” U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said to a local news station. The allegation is that Judge Herranz let Salazar escape through her private exit.
“When you’re talking about the judicial system – whether it’s federal or by state – you have an expectation that people are going to abide by the law and not take steps based on their own motivations, their own politics – whatever the motivation was,” Williams said. Salazar has since been arrested.
On January 25th, President Donald Trump signed an expansive executive order directing federal agencies to enforce federal immigration law. Legal experts tell LawNewz.com that they read the order as dramatically expanding the category of so-called ‘criminal aliens’ and the directive could even impact legal U.S. residents.