Federal agency shields accused murderer from deportation
Convoluted procedures of Obama’s Executive Order to blame
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is a component of the Homeland Security Administration, recently admitted error in granting deferred deportation to Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez, a known gang member who is also charged with four counts of First Degree Murder in North Carolina.
In a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the agency stated that Rangel-Hernandez’s request for deferred deportation under President Obama’s ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ executive order “should not have been approved” based on the agency’s established procedures and protocols. Rangel-Hernandez was placed in the removal process in March 2012, following drug charges, but was shielded from removal even though the agency knew of his gang membership.
Rangel-Hernandez is now charged with the murders of four individuals, including a former ‘America’s Next Top Model’ contestant.
“This statement by USCIS confirms what we have feared – that USCIS is not doing a thorough job reviewing the individuals who it allows to stay in this country under the President’s deferred action program. It’s no secret that USCIS staff is under intense pressure to approve every DACA application that comes across their desk, and based on this information, it’s clear that adequate protocols are not in place to protect public safety. The fact is that this tragedy could have been avoided if the agency had a zero tolerance policy with regard to criminal aliens and gang members,” Grassley said.
Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, echoed the chairman’s remarks.
“The flawed implementation of the President’s blanket deferred action program has created a loophole that allows dangerous criminals who came here illegally – even known gang members – to stay in the country. The USCIS needs to immediately start performing detailed criminal background checks to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future,” said Tillis.
North Carolina’s senior U.S. Senator, Richard Burr, also weighed in:
“This agency’s admission is chilling. For some time, the administration has promised Americans that those who qualify for their executive order would fully meet a set of guidelines meant to keep criminals out of our country. We now know that isn’t true and that the agency tasked with implementing the President’s edict cannot effectively carry out the rule without compromising the safety of Americans. This is one more reason why the President’s habit of governing by proclamation is a poor replacement for actual law making,” said Burr..
The agency’s confirmation of its error follows inquiries earlier this year asking for details on the case as well as statistics on the number of illegal immigrants being considered for deferred action, who have with gang ties and other criminal records. In its written response to Grassley, the agency failed to clearly explain where the breakdown occurred.
Records of Rangel-Hernandez’s gang affiliation in TECS, a federal crime database, should have been reviewed by the agency’s ‘Background Check Unit’ prior to being sent to an adjudicator for a decision on his DACA application. The adjudicator would only be able to approve such an application after signoff from USCIS headquarters. It remains unclear whether the Background Check Unit failed to discover the TECS record or whether the adjudicator approved the application despite knowledge of the gang ties, and without consulting headquarters.