Stanislaus County sheriff speaks out after Cpl. Ron Singh's death, says law enforcement should be able to turn criminals in the county illegally over to ICE

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGO) -- The manhunt for Newman Corporal Ronil Singh's killer put the issue of illegal immigration in the spotlight.

During Friday's press conference, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson talked at length about how he believes sanctuary laws are impacting public safety.

RELATED: Gustavo Perez Arriaga, the man accused of shooting, killing Newman Police Corporal Ronil 'Ron' Singh captured

"Why are we providing sanctuary for criminals, gang members, it's a conversation we need to have," said Christianson.

The sheriff says suspect Gustavo Perez Arriaga, who allegedly shot Singh during a traffic stop, was in the country illegally from Mexico. He says Arriaga had two prior DUI arrests and was a known gang member.

"Law enforcement should be able to turn people over to ICE who are committing crimes, who are gang members, who victimize and exploit others," Christianson said.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted about the manhunt for Arriaga. He said, in part, "Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!"

RELATED: Pres. Trump weighs in after officials report suspect in officer's death is in US illegally

Back in May, Sheriff Christianson appeared at an anti-sanctuary city roundtable alongside President Trump. Today he wouldn't speak about the President.

"I'm not here to talk about the President of the United States but I will repeat what I said before, border security goes hand in hand with national security goes hand in hand with public safety goes hand in hand with the safety of our community," said Sheriff Christianson.

Law enforcement officials found Arriaga in Bakersfield. The Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood had this to say.

RELATED: VIDEO: Brother of fallen Newman Cpl. Ron Singh tearfully thanks law enforcement after suspect Gustavo Perez Arriaga arrested

"When you tie our hands and don't allow us to work with our federal partners and communicate with our federal partners about the people who commit crimes and are in this country illegally we're going to have incidents like this not just on police officers but on the public that we serve and protect."

Still, the Kern County's sheriff called Ariagga's immigration status secondary in the case.

A reporter asked the Stanislaus County sheriff whether Arriaga had prior deportations. He said he did not have any information on that yet. On Friday, the president threatened to close the Southern U.S. Border completely unless Congress agrees to fund a border wall.

Take a look at the latest stories, videos and updates on the shooting death of Corporal Ronil Singh.
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