Immigration officials confirm alleged Pelosi attacker was in the U.S. illegally

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The man accused of striking the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer is a Canadian citizen who is in the United States illegally and could face deportation after the criminal case is resolved, the Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday night.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained Canadian national David DePape to the San Francisco County Jail on Nov. 1 following his Oct. 28 arrest,” DHS officials said in an email. David DePape).”

ICE, part of the Department of Homeland Security, sends “detainees” to state and local law enforcement, requiring them to notify the agency before releasing foreign citizens who may also be deported. Deportation is a civil action, usually after a criminal case is resolved, but immigrants are also detained on bail.

DePape, 42, faces state and federal criminal charges for Friday morning’s horrific attack on Paul Pelosi, 82, and threats to Nancy Pelosi. DePape has pleaded not guilty and remains in custody.

Relatives told the media that DePape grew up in British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, but his trajectory to Northern California has been a mystery.

Federal records show that DePape entered the United States legally through Mexico on March 8, 2008. He transited at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the official border crossing linking San Diego County to Tijuana.

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Canadians generally do not need a visa for business or leisure travel, officials said, and the Department of Homeland Security said he was admitted as a “temporary visitor” for leisure travel.

Canadians for recreational purposes are generally allowed to stay for up to six months. The Department of Homeland Security did not say exactly when DePape’s permission to remain in the United States would expire.

Pelosi’s attacker told police he was on a ‘suicide mission,’ court documents say

The Canadian government confirmed this week that they were working on DePape’s case.

“Canadian officials are reaching out to local authorities for more information,” said Charlotte MacLeod, a spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada. “Due to privacy concerns, no further information can be disclosed.”

California, home to millions of immigrants, is a sanctuary state and has passed laws limiting state and local law enforcement cooperation with immigration officials, frustrating immigration officials trying to deport immigrants arrested for crimes.

California has an exception for people with serious criminal histories, and it’s unclear how DePape’s case will play out. State prosecutors said he posed a significant security risk.

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On Monday, federal authorities filed attempted kidnapping and assault charges against DePape, alleging he broke into Pelosi’s home, beat her husband with a hammer in front of police, and then said he wanted to break Nancy Pelosi’s kneecap in order to break into Pelosi’s kneecap. Warning to other Democrats.

DePape was also arraigned Tuesday in San Francisco County Superior Court on charges including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary, false imprisonment and threatening the life or grievous bodily harm of a public official.

DePape allegedly broke into the House Speaker’s San Francisco home with a hammer early Friday and woke her husband, who was sleeping upstairs, court records show.

“Are you Paul Pelosi?” DePape allegedly said as he confronted Pelosi as he stood by him with a hammer and a tie, court records show. “Where’s Nancy?”

Paul Pelosi managed to call 911. But when police arrived and told DePape to put down the hammer, he broke free and struck Pelosi in the head, knocking him unconscious.

State prosecutors called the attack “near-fatal.”

Paul Pelosi underwent surgery to repair “a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hand,” according to a statement released by Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hamill. The spokesman said her husband was making a steady recovery.

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DePape allegedly told police he was on a “suicide mission” and developed a target list of state and federal politicians to stamp out “lies” in Washington.

In recent months, DePape has also published hundreds of blog posts in support of the far-right and slamming Jews, blacks, Democrats, the media and trans people.

Days before Pelosi attack, alleged attacker blogged about delusions

The attack fueled nationwide concerns about the threat posed by violent domestic extremists as the Nov. 8 midterm elections loom.

The FBI, DHS and other agencies released a memo last week warning that extremism could increase in the 90 days after the election, according to a copy of the document obtained by The Washington Post.

The most likely threat “is posed by loners who use election-related issues to justify violence,” the memo said.

Concerns about election-related violence prompted President Biden to speak in Washington on Wednesday night.

“We have to speak with an overwhelmingly unified voice, as a nation, that America does not allow voter intimidation or political violence, whether against Democrats or Republicans,” Biden said. “There is no place, period. There was never a place.”

Holly Bailey, Aaron C. Davis, and Dalton Bennett contributed to this report.

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