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After He Dies In ICE Custody, Democrats Defend Illegal Convicted Of Murder

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Image CreditFDRLST/Canva

Democrats are rallying around the death of an illegal alien who was convicted of murdering an American.


After he died last month in federal custody, Democrats are rallying around the death of an illegal alien who was convicted of murder more than two decades ago. Charles Leo Daniel, a Trinidad and Tobago citizen who illegally overstayed his U.S. visa, died due to unknown circumstances on March 7 in the Northwest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Processing Center in Tacoma, Washington.

Daniel was first jailed after he was convicted in 2003 of the brutal murder of his landlord roommate with a “bloody butcher knife.” Court documents say police arrived on the scene to find Daniel “covered in blood.”

Daniel claimed self-defense but the court determined that “testimony to be lacking in credibility” and “found the forensic evidence inconsistent with Daniel’s account of how he had stabbed” the victim, Raymond Lindsay. The court initially sentenced Daniel to “220 months prison and 24 to 48 months of community custody.” A per curiam decision issued in 2007 affirmed that sentence after concluding that “the court did not misapply the law of self-defense.”

After an immigration judge ruled in favor of expelling Daniel from the country in 2020, Daniel was transferred into the custody of the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations, where he died.

Shortly after his death, researchers at the University of Washington quickly alleged that the circumstances of Daniel’s detention, which included “the second-longest stretch in solitary confinement of any person in ICE custody since 2018,” caused him suffering and may have played a role in his death. The UW activists demand that Congress send “written information requests of the agency’s Congressional liaison.”

“If members of Washington’s Congressional delegation have chosen not to make use of this tool to date, now is the time to start, in the interests of transparency, accountability, and supporting the leadership of Washington communities who are using every tool at our disposal in our effort to stop the abuse of our neighbors,” the “research update” concludes.

A few weeks later, a dozen Democrat Senators sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Patrick J. Lechleitner, the ICE official performing the duties of the director, on March 29 demanding an end to the “misuse of solitary confinement in immigration detention.”

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Dick Durbin, two of the signees, also spoke out against solitary confinement for those convicted of crimes connected to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot. They did not, however, ever send a formal letter demanding better treatment for detained Americans than for illegal border crossers.

Democrats’ letter to ICE does not mention Daniel’s name. It does, however, use the same language as UW to pressure ICE into reducing punishments for foreigners who break U.S. law and murder Americans.

On March 21, Rep. Pramila Jayapal also released a statement scolding ICE for “overreliance on detention” and even suggested that “nearly 67 percent of people detained in ICE custody have no criminal record and many more only have minor offenses such as traffic violations.” While mentioning Daniel by name, she did not mention Daniel’s criminal record atop his violation of U.S. immigration law. Instead, she offered sympathy to his family for the “unacceptable tragedy.”

“First and foremost, my heart goes out to Mr. Daniel’s family and loved ones. His death is an unacceptable tragedy and there must be accountability and a full investigation to understand exactly what happened at the Northwest Detention Center,” she said.

Democrats’ attention to Daniel’s death received amplification from The News Tribune. The pro-illegal migration group La Resistencia also saw their fact-free claims of “harassment” and “intimidation” amid protests outside of the Tacoma detention facility published in a positive light.

Neither article mentioned Daniel’s criminal history.

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