U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release...
CHICAGO, IL - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continually lodges detainers with Chicago-area law enforcement agencies only to have those detainers declined and the subjects released into the community where they can reoffend.
That’s what happened with the case of Christopher Puente, 34, a citizen of Mexico who is a previously deported aggravated felon illegally present in the United States.
In June 2019, ICE lodged an immigration detainer with the Chicago Police Department on Puente, who has several felony convictions and a prior removal, after he was arrested for theft.
That detainer was not honored and on Feb. 19, 2020, Puente was once again arrested, except this time it was for sexually assaulting a 3-year-old at a fast food restaurant.
“How many more victims must there be before lawmakers realize that sanctuary policies do not protect the innocent?” asked Robert Guadian, field office director of Chicago Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). “Puente should have been in ICE custody last year and removed to his home country. Instead, irresponsible lawmaking allowed him to walk free and prey on our most vulnerable.”
Puente has a long criminal history that includes two felony convictions for forced-entry burglary (2011 and 2017) and forgery (2012).
On Dec. 5, 2014, ERO officers removed Puente to Mexico, pursuant to an administrative removal order as Puente is a convicted aggravated felon due to his previous felony burglary conviction.
Five days later, on Dec. 10, 2014, border agents encountered Puente at the Brownsville, Texas, border crossing. Puente claimed to be a U.S. citizen and presented a birth certificate. Puente was subsequently charged with falsely claiming citizenship and served a notice to appear before an immigration judge. On March 30, 2017, an immigration judge ordered Puente removed, in absentia, as he failed to show up for his immigration hearing.
Puente also goes by the aliases Christopher Adam Puente, Chris Jose Puente and Juan Manuel Lopez (age 41).
On Feb. 20, 2020, ICE filed an immigration detainer with Cook County Jail after his sexual assault arrest.
In Fiscal Year 2019, Cook County declined more than 1,000 detainers.
Since ICE does not have access to standard Illinois law enforcement databases, the agency cannot account for all the aliens who have been arrested, released and arrested for additional crimes.
*The brutal sexual assault took place around 8 a.m., at a McDonald's on 600 N. Clark St. in Chicago, after the illegal alien followed a man and his two children into the restroom.
As the girl's father was attending to his young son in another stall, Puente slipped the girl into a separate stall, and began sexually abusing her, according to a police report.
At Puente's bond hearing in Cook County, it was revealed that "the little girl's mouth was covered as she began whimpering 'daddy, daddy' - before her father pulled her legs from under the door to get her to safety," reported The Daily Mail.
Puente has admitted to sexually assaulting the toddler. He also told police that he was high and "thinking dirty," at the time of the attack.
Puente has been charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim younger than 13 years of age, and could face more charges.