Man at center of immigration controversy pleads not guilty to murder charges

07/07/2015 // JusticeNewsFlash // (press release)

San Francisco – A man charged with first-degree murder after being accused of shooting a woman at a pier has pleaded not guilty in the case. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the man, Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez is a Mexican national who is a major focus of a national debate about immigration.

Sanchez is reportedly in the U.S. illegally and was released from jail in San Francisco prior to the shooting. Federal officials requested that he remain in custody so that the process of deporting him could begin; however, the San Francisco sheriff says he must ignore such detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in accordance with local law.

The position has garnered criticism from many in the country. Sanchez has reportedly served a combined 17 years in prison for entering the U.S. illegally and has been deported five times.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Stated of Sanchez’s release at a hearing, “He had a criminal warrant but was released into the general society to commit a murder. Does that make any sense to you?… Because I'll tell you it doesn't make any sense to the American public.”

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