A New Mexico man has sued the sanctuary city of Albuquerque for shielding his wife's murder suspect, an illegal immigrant, from being arrested and deported before the killing.
Jacqueline Vigil was murdered in her driveway in November 2019 while she was leaving her Albuquerque home to go to the gym. The 55-year-old was the mother of two New Mexico State Police officers and worked at a daycare center.
Sam Vigil, Jacqueline's husband, has filed suit against the city for allowing main suspect Luis Talamantes-Romero to remain in the country, despite being a known criminal who was in this country illegally, per KOB4 on Friday.
Talamantes-Romero, a three-time deported illegal immigrant and alleged gang member from Mexico, has been in federal custody in Texas and charged with murdering Vigil. Four associates also were facing federal charges.
The lawsuit accuses the city of Albuquerque of protecting Talamantes-Romero with a sanctuary-city policy, which has been in place since 2018. It alleges the city did not arrest or deport the Mexican despite his extensive criminal record that included four illegal re-entries into the U.S., domestic violence, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and firing a firearm from a moving vehicle, per Breitbart on Monday.
"I feel like my wife today could be alive if they would have acted on so much evidence they had against this individual and turned him in to immigration," Sam Vigil told KOB4. "I think my wife would be talking to me today."
The hunt for Vigil's killer went nowhere for 8 months before agents with former President Donald Trump's "Operation Legend" stepped in to help local law enforcement track Vigil's killer, ultimately leading them to Talamantes-Romero.
"I am extremely grateful to President Trump and the FBI for their efforts to deliver justice for Jackie and all the other innocent victims of violent crime," Sam Vigil said when he spoke at last year's Republican National Convention.
According to the lawsuit, Talamantes-Romero had been deported and re-entered the U.S. a few months before Vigil's murder. He then was identified as a suspect in a robbery.
"That alone should have triggered a phone call, or an email to federal law enforcement even if [the Albuquerque Police Department] needed more time to perfect their investigation," said attorney Robert Gorence, one of the lawyers representing Sam Vigil. "All they had to do was [say] 'he's back'; that's all it would have took. It never happened because of a city policy."
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