“This administration’s poor policies and reluctance to remove criminals from our streets continue to result in additional harm to our country.” Sen. Rob Portman, [R-OH]
by Anna Giaritelli, Homeland Security Reporter | | February 02, 2022 05:42 PM
A man arrested last week for vandalizing Washington’s Union Station with swastika symbols is a Mexican citizen with a 15-year criminal history who has been deported twice but still does not meet Biden administration standards for arrest or removal.
Geraldo Pando, 34, was arrested on Jan. 28 and charged with the display of certain emblems and defacing private/public property for drawing the Nazi symbol on the exterior walls of the train station, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The incident happened one day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day and is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
Arrest records obtained exclusively by the Washington Examiner reveal that Pando had an extensive, 35-page criminal history in Colorado before he arrived in the District of Columbia recently. 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.
“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,” Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
“It is inexcusable that ICE did not process him and he was released back into the community to commit such a heinous crime,” said Portman, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “This administration’s poor policies and reluctance to remove criminals from our streets continue to result in additional harm to our country.”