Alleged Pelosi Attacker May Be Deported

Canadian David DePape was in US illegally after traveling legally here in 2008
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2022 2:25 PM CDT
Pelosi Suspect Overstayed His Welcome in US
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her husband, Paul Pelosi, arrive at the State Department on Dec. 7, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)

The man suspected of attacking Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, last Friday isn't in the United States legally, though he came here legally nearly 15 years ago. That's per Department of Homeland Security officials, who said Thursday that 42-year-old Canadian David DePape entered the US through a California port of entry in March 2008, but from Mexico, not Canada, reports the New York Times. DHS says DePape, a native of British Columbia, came into the San Ysidro Port of Entry from Tijuana into San Diego, permitted to cross the border as a "temporary visitor" traveling for pleasure, notes the Washington Post, which first confirmed DePape's status.

Although it's not clear how long DePape was allowed to stay legally in the States, Canadians who visit the US for work or pleasure are typically admitted for six months before those permissions expire. A Migration Policy Institute analyst tells the Times that even though DePape wouldn't have been able to work in the US legally, as long as he didn't find his way onto law enforcement's radar, such as by getting arrested, it would have been possible to remain here indefinitely without notice by immigration officials. The paper notes that in recent years, DePape has been transient. Now, after his criminal cases are wrapped up, DePape could be deported once he's released from custody.

Toward that end, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has filed an "immigration detainer" against him, per CNBC. That means the San Francisco County Jail has to let ICE know when DePape is about to be released, so he can be taken into ICE custody. Per a 2020 DHS report, Canadians are the second-largest group of visitors who overstay in the US, second only to Mexicans. DePape has been hit with multiple state and federal charges, including attempted kidnapping, attempted murder, elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and assaulting a relative of a federal official. He's being held without bail and has pleaded not guilty to the state felony charges against him; a hearing on federal charges against him was set for Friday. (More David DePape stories.)

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