Philly DA Larry Krasner
Philly DA Larry Krasner Creative Commons

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner underscored his commitment to justice by showcasing the conviction of Deandrade Jeferson, a man accused of attacking a Brazilian American woman, emphasizing that the immigration status of victims does not affect their pursuit of justice.

As WHYY of Philadelphia reports, Krasner acknowledged that criminals intentionally target vulnerable groups, including migrants without proper documentation, due to the belief that these individuals are less likely to report crimes. The DA's office aims to dispel this fear and encourage victims to come forward.

"Based upon the idea that they are so endangered by ICE policy or their status that they won't come forward, we've certainly seen that for a long time," Krasner said.

The case against Jeferson involved a 2022 carjacking attempt where three men targeted a Brazilian woman returning home from a Valentine's Day event. ADA Kenzie Johnson expressed concern that there may be other victims of Jeferson who have yet to come forward.

Prosecutors secured a guilty verdict using testimony from the survivor and forensic evidence, including a significant handprint on the driver's side window.

Krasner reiterated that the immigration status of a victim does not factor into their investigation, and they will work to help victims gain proper status so they don't have to live in fear.

"We do have reason to believe that there are other victims of this defendant, Deandrade Jeferson, that are still out there," Johnson said. "I hope that they will consider coming forward and give us the opportunity to fight for them."

In December, immigrant rights groups in Philadelphia lodged allegations that immigration officials are preying on those accused of crimes in the city. Back then, Krasner also spoke out saying such practices are keeping people away from the court system:

"I need victims who will come forward without fear. ICE is wrecking that for undocumented people. I need witnesses who will come forward without fear, witnesses for victims who are U.S. citizens, witnesses for victims who are not U.S. citizens. ICE is wrecking that."

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