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Crime by foreigners fuels sanctuary state debate in Oregon

Hundreds of foreigners are in prisons in Oregon who federal immigration authorities believe are deportable.

Posted: Sep 7, 2018 6:00 AM
Updated: Sep 7, 2018 10:38 AM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A man who federal authorities say is illegally in America allegedly ran a red light while drunk and crashed into a motorcycle carrying a man and woman, killing them both.

On Wednesday, a judge set bail for Eduardo de la Lima Vargas at a half-million dollars, saying he's a threat to society and a flight risk.

The Mexican man, wearing handcuffs and a dark blue inmate smock, held his head in his hands as an interpreter spoke quietly into his ear. He was sent back to the Marion County jail, joining the hundreds of foreigners in prisons in Oregon who federal immigration authorities believe are deportable.

Cases such as this one are fueling a debate ahead of the November election, when voters decide whether Oregon should repeal its sanctuary state law, the nation's oldest.

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