Last updated on February 4, 2022
A twice deported illegal alien charged with spray painting swastikas on historic Union Station in Washington, D.C., has been apprehended by authorities. The Mexican national has an expansive criminal record, including 35 pages of a rap sheet in the state of Colorado alone.
According to the Washington Examiner, Geraldo Pando, 34, was arrested on January 28 and “charged with the display of certain emblems and defacing private/public property for drawing the Nazi symbol” on Union Station. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime given the fact that it occurred the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The Washington Examiner first reported that current immigration policy appears to shield Pando from deportation:
Despite his record, Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not attempt to take him into federal custody after his Union Station arrest so that he could face deportation proceedings in court, instead allowing him to remain in the United States.
Pando had also been detained and arrested a week prior to the Union Station incident for vandalizing the U.S. Capitol Police headquarters, according to a senior Senate aide familiar with Pando’s run-ins with federal, state, and local law enforcement. Capitol Police released him because ICE did not ask that he be detained until he could be transferred into federal custody. Capitol Police and ICE did not respond to requests for comment.
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) told the D.C.-based paper, “The criminal who defaced Union Station with antisemitic symbols, Geraldo Pando, should not have been able to commit this act of hatred. He is a convicted felon and an unlawful migrant with a criminal history of deportations and arrests, including for assault on a first responder.”
“It is inexcusable that ICE did not process him and he was released back into the community to commit such a heinous crime,” Portman, added. “This administration’s poor policies and reluctance to remove criminals from our streets continue to result in additional harm to our country.”
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) rebuked the vandalism, saying that hate has no place in the capital:
This morning, commuters in the District of Columbia were met with the disturbing sight of swastikas drawn on our historic Union Station. This symbol of hate displayed in our city is both shocking and unsettling, particularly on the heels of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Amtrak Police Department, which has primary jurisdiction in the investigation, is working with the Metropolitan Police Department to investigate the incident, and Union Station currently has a team of experts working diligently to remove the graffiti from the historic granite. This antisemitic and hateful symbol has no place in our city, and we stand united with the members of our Jewish community against anti-Semitism in all its forms.
And a reminder that we respect all DC residents no matter their immigration status. Washington, DC remains a sanctuary city. #DCvalues [3/3]
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) June 1, 2017
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