Hispanic Judge accused of helping an illegal alien escape from ICE via courthouse employee exit

Now judges are helping illegal immigrants to escape the law?

An Oregon judge stands accused by federal prosecutors of assisting a Mexican national, who illegally crossed the border into the United States, to escape the clutches of immigration officials who were there to arrest him.

Clip via KOIN

Diddier Pacheco Salazar, 22, appeared in the courtroom of Multnomah County Circuit Judge Monica Herranz on January 27 to plead guilty to driving while under the influence of intoxicants, according to KOIN 6 News.

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But Salazar eluded arrest by the waiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents when he apparently left the courtroom by an exit reserved for court employees.

U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said the illegal immigrant couldn’t have done it on his own– he had to have had help.

And suspicion turned to Herring, a Hispanic.

“I thought it was inappropriate, I thought it was unprofessional,” Williams said. “I strongly believe that it just cannot happen again.”

But he said he can’t say for sure whether it was the judge, who was acting as a court referee at the time Salazar escaped.

“I don’t know exactly what the referee did inside the courtroom,” Williams said.

The court’s supervising judge told the station that the presence of ICE agents in a courtroom tends to create a chilling effect.

“We don’t quibble with the fact that they have a job to do,” Judge Nan Waller told KOIN in a phone interview. “However, it would be nice if they were not inside the courthouse.”

Williams said he understands that Judge Waller “would like courthouses to be sensitive in areas,” but “I think that’s unlikely” to happen.

ICE agents finally caught up with Pacheco and arrested him on February 10 outside of court.

“We are willing, in effect, to not pursue a criminal investigation,” Williams said.

Herranz, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association, declined to comment on the case.

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