SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones is blaming last week’s murders at the Church in Sacramento in Arden-Arcade on the government’s immigration policy.
He told FOX40 that California’s “sanctuary state” law is a direct cause of the killings, which included three sisters and their chaperone.
“I defy anyone to say this isn’t a spectacular failure of immigration policy,” Jones said Sunday.
Jones shared his views his Facebook page on how the church murders comes down to a system failure.
The shooter was in California illegally.
“ICE did the right thing. They served a detainer on this jail in Merced, and said, ‘Look, we want this guy. We know who he is. We want him. We don’t want you to release him.’ which is what a detainer does. The jail did what they had to do by state law, which is accept the detainer, but it doesn’t affect one thing,” Jones explained.
“And so, this guy is free to walk out of jail. And free to kill four people four days later,” Jones added.
The sheriff said his views on immigration haven’t changed over the years but have only gotten stronger.
Eight years ago, a gunman in California illegally, shot and killed a Sacramento County deputy and a Placer County Sheriff’s detective.
“That guy had been removed from our country four times without any consequences at all, committing crimes every time he was here,” Jones said.
Jones said until the system is fixed, there will only be more victims.
To those who say Jones may be using this latest tragedy to help with his run for Congress, he has a message.
“You have three little beautiful girls that are dead. I would never try and exploit that for political gains and I never will. That happened. But it does highlight a failure that I have been screaming about, not just in California, but in Washington, D.C., and everywhere in between,” Jones said.
“The things that I do, the things that I say, resonate with some folks and upset other folks, but I really feel like if I have a platform to speak, that I have a responsibility to use it,” Jones added.
Jones said the work to make things safer in this country starts with securing the border which is paramount to him.
“There’s only one thing that could’ve prevented this. And that is the detainer that was served on that jail saying ‘We know this guy, we want him, we want to take custody of him,” that could not be acted upon because of California state law. That one thing could’ve prevented this,” Jones said.
FOX40 reached out to the California Immigrant Policy Center for comment on Jones’ statements and are waiting to hear back.