The man who allegedly attacked Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is in the country illegally and could be deported, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said.
A DHS spokesperson said in a statement that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged an immigration detainer Tuesday on David DePape, who is facing multiple federal and state charges after he was accused of assaulting Pelosi with a hammer.
The spokesperson said records show DePape, who is a Canadian national, entered the United States as a temporary visitor in March 2008. He entered at the San Ysidro point of entry on the border between California and Mexico.
Admissible Canadian travelers who are visiting the U.S. for business or pleasure usually do not need to obtain a visa, but they are generally admitted for six months.
ICE places a detainer on someone when they have been arrested on criminal charges and the agency has probable cause to believe they can be deported, the spokesperson said. ICE’s detainer requests that the law enforcement agency that is holding the individual notifies the agency before releasing them from custody so ICE can take them into their custody.
DePape is facing federal charges of assault and attempted kidnapping, as well as state charges including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and threatening the life or serious bodily harm of a public official.
DePape allegedly broke into the Pelosis’ San Francisco house last week and repeatedly asked “where is Nancy.” A Justice Department affidavit states that DePape told officers he planned to hold the House speaker, who was in Washington D.C. at the time, hostage.
Prosecutors say DePape planned to break the House speaker’s kneecaps if she did not tell the “truth” to questions he asked her.
Paul Pelosi underwent surgery for a skull fracture. Nancy Pelosi said this week he was improving.