PHILADELPHIA -- A man accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend in front of her children on Christmas morning has been charged with illegally reentering the country after having been deported twice, according to unsealed court documents.
Josue Osorio-Quino, 33, is facing charges of murder and other offenses in the death of Juana Us-Perez, 35, and the stabbing of her 14-year-old son.
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said he expects the federal case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to proceed after the local charges are settled.
McSwain has long decried Philadelphia's "sanctuary city" status, and is pointing at Osorio-Quino as an example of why the policy should be eliminated.
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said it could not comment on the case because it was ongoing, but said domestic-violence crimes show that it is important for anyone, including those who are undocumented, to feel comfortable dialing 911.
It was not clear whether the victim was undocumented at the time of her death.
McSwain and District Attorney Larry Krasner have been in open conflict when it comes to immigration.
Dozens of places across the country, such as Philadelphia, have declared themselves sanctuary jurisdictions, where local governments limit their cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Although leaders in those cities say the policy makes undocumented residents more willing to report crime and work with police, critics such McSwain say the policy is against the law.
These disagreements are playing out in legal battles, with courts in Philadelphia and as far away as California restricting the extent to which the federal government can force local officials to help ICE.
"This case is a microcosm, an example of the consequences of being a sanctuary jurisdiction," McSwain said. "Even one crime committed by an illegal alien is a crime that can be prevented." There is no evidence, according to an analysis in the Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization that covers the criminal justice system, that the undocumented population commits more crimes, or more violent crimes, than other people. Osorio-Quino does not have any prior criminal convictions in Philadelphia.