The Canadian man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and attacking her husband with a hammer should have been flagged by immigration officials and denied permission more than two decades ago. He should have been barred from returning to the U.S. after the entry was terminated, a federal official said Thursday.

David DePep, 42, entered the United States legally in 2000 and has since left the country a few times, including at the San Ysidro border in San Diego in March 2008, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity. This included entering at the crossing. It is not authorized to discuss this matter.

Most Canadians do not need a visa to enter the US as tourists and can stay for up to six months. The official said it was unclear why US authorities admitted de Pape after overstaying his entry in 2000.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to questions about DePape’s entry into the United States after violating immigration law. He acknowledged in a statement that de Pep was allowed to travel from Tijuana to San Diego on March 8, 2008, but did not address any other entries.

San Francisco police said Depop confronts Paul Pelosi. Oct. 28 at the family’s Pacific Heights home and demanded to know where the House speaker was. DePape pleaded not guilty to the state charges Tuesday and was ordered held without bail. Her public defender, Adam Lipson, said he looked forward to providing her with a “robust legal defense.”

DePape faces state charges of attempted murder, theft and elder abuse. He also faces federal charges, including the attempted kidnapping of a US official. His state trial will continue Friday, although the defendants will not appear in the courtroom. A plea to the federal charges has not been set.

In state court filings, prosecutors described the attack in stark terms, saying 82-year-old Paul Pelosi was knocked unconscious by the hammer and woke up in a pool of his own blood.

According to court documents, two officers who rushed to the home after Paul Pelosi called 911 saw DePeep strike him at least once with a hammer, hitting him in the head. The attack was captured on the officers’ body cameras, officials said.

Deepep grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, but moved to California to live with a girlfriend, stepfather Jean De Pape told The Associated Press last week. He said that he has three children with two women. Jean de Pape said the suspect had lived with her in Canada until he was 14 and was a quiet boy.

DePep’s ex-girlfriend, Oksane “Gypsy” Taub, a Bay Area nudist, told the San Francisco Chronicle that she met DePep in Hawaii in 2000. The couple lived in Berkeley and had two children during their 15-year relationship.

U.S. authorities have long struggled to track them — people who enter the country legally and overstay their visas — who are believed to be in the country illegally. About 40 percent of the existing population.

Visitors arriving by air or ship had 684,499 visa overstays from October 2019 to September 2020 – more than the population of Vermont or Wyoming – according to the Department of Homeland Security’s latest annual report. The total number of overstays is much higher but is not quantified because it does not include how many come by land, the primary way for Canadians and Mexicans to enter the United States.

The cost and technical barriers to developing a checkout system at the congested land crossings with Canada and Mexico are high. In the 12-month period to September 2020, more than 52,000 Canadians who came to the United States by air or sea overstayed their legally authorized entry.

Despite the challenges, the US official said de Pape’s overstay should have been noted in immigration records, which in principle should have prevented authorities from admitting him.

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