Updated Nov 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Suspect in Paul Pelosi attack was in U.S. illegally, DHS says

Police tape outside of the Pelosi residence following the attack

Police at the Pelosis' home after Paul Pelosi was assaulted with hammer on Oct. 28 in San Francisco, Calif. Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The man accused of attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband was in the U.S. illegally, the Department of Homeland Security said, CNN reports.

Driving the news: "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged an immigration detainer on Canadian national David DePape with San Francisco County Jail, Nov. 1, following his Oct. 28 arrest," DHS said, per CNN.

  • DePape, who is accused of attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer, is a Canadian citizen who entered the U.S. on March 8, 2008 through the California-Mexico border, the Washington Post reports.
  • DHS did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Between the lines: An immigration detainer is a notice that DHS issues to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to inform them that ICE plans to assume custody of the individual, per the agency.

  • "Detainers are critical for ICE to be able to identify and ultimately remove criminal aliens who are currently in federal, state or local custody."
  • Canadians who are admitted to the U.S. for business or pleasure are typically allowed to stay for six months, per CNN.

The big picture: DePape this week pleaded not guilty to state charges for the attack, which include attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse.

Go deeper ... Pelosi says she and family are "heartbroken" by attack on Paul Pelosi

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that DePape reportedly entered the U.S. in March 2008, not March 2022.

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