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Biden slammed for refusing to deport illegal immigrants who are convicted felons

The Republican National Committee slammed the Biden Administration and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for "giving a pass to illegal immigrants who commit felonies."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee slammed the Biden Administration and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for "giving a pass to illegal immigrants who commit felonies."

"Because of his orders ICE has been forced to cancel deportation requests for many illegal immigrants 'who pleaded guilty to felony charges of evading arrest or had convictions for drunken driving, drug possession or domestic assault injuring a family member,’" the GOP wrote.

Citing the Washington Times, the GOP highlighted three recent cases where deportation was cancelled for illegal immigrants that committed crimes in the US.

In one case, Heriberto Fuerte-Padilla was driving his car while drunk in 2020, and got into a fatal accident with a Texas teenager. He attempted to flee the scene, but police were able to catch him.

The DHS initially wanted Fuerte-Padilla to be deported once punished in Texas, but changed course after new rules issued by Mayorkas in September made Fuerte-Padilla no longer a priority case.

In another case, Jose Godoy Vasquez, according to the state’s law enforcement criminal history database, has a number of convictions including drunk driving in 2013, and then for drug possession and domestic violence from 2019 to 2021.

According to the Washington Times, "His sentence runs through 2025. ICE had a detainer request on Vasquez but told Texas last month that it was canceling the detainer under the new priorities."

Another case involved Thai immigrant Nay Thar, who was convicted of drug possession in 2017, drunk driving and fleeing the police in 2018, and sneaking contraband into prison in 2020. Records indicate he was released from jail this month.

"Meanwhile, the administration has not released its official report on deportations, breaking precedent. ICE agents say deportations are at near record lows, saying they are now a 'travel coordination agency' for illegal immigrants, many with criminal convictions. Indeed, deportations are so low that illegal immigrants with arrest warrants are using their warrants as ID to travel around the country," the GOP wrote.

In September, Mayorkas issued new guidance allowing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to exercise more discretion in deciding which immigrants should be targeted for arrest or deportation.

The guidelines, which went into effect in November, allow ICE officers more freedom to decide which immigrants should be targeted, a change from the previous guidelines that gave strict categories for officers to follow.

New factors for officers to consider before arrest "include the harm suffered by the victim of the crime in question, the length of the immigrant's prison sentence, the sophistication of the crime and whether or not the immigrant used a gun."

Officers are also encouraged to weigh in factors like the age of the immigrant, how long they have been in the United States, how long ago the crime was committed, and the effect deportation would have on close family members.

"In exercising our discretion," the updated guidelines reportedly state, "we are guided by the fact that the majority of undocumented noncitizens who could be subject to removal have been contributing members of our communities for years."

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