David DePape, the man accused of violently attacking Paul Pelosi last week, was in the United States illegally and may face deportation, the Department of Homeland Security said late Wednesday.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged an immigration detainer on Canadian national David DePape with San Francisco County Jail, Nov. 1, following his Oct. 28 arrest,” the department said.
ICE issues so-called immigration “detainers” to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to inform them that the agency intends to take custody of an individual and requests that ICE be notified before that individual is released.
The detainer is unlikely to affect DePape’s case since deportations often happen after criminal cases are resolved. But after conviction and prison sentence, the US normally would seek deportation.
According to federal records, DePape, a Canadian citizen, entered the country on March 8, 2008, at the San Ysidro port of entry, which is along the California-Mexico border, as a temporary visitor. Generally, Canadians who are visiting for business or pleasure don’t require a visa and are allowed to stay in the US for six months.
DePape, 42, has been charged with a litany of crimes, including assault, attempted murder and attempted kidnapping, following last week’s break-in at Pelosi’s San Francisco home, the US attorney’s office and San Francisco district attorney announced on Monday.
He was charged with one count of “attempted kidnapping of a US official,” according to the US attorney’s office for the Northern District of California. That charge relates to Nancy Pelosi, whom DePape told police he planned to “hold hostage,” according to an FBI affidavit also unsealed on Monday.
DePape entered a not guilty plea Tuesday to all state charges during his initial appearance in court. He has not yet entered a plea in federal court.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the date DePape entered the country. It was March 8, 2008.