Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gang Member Who Faced Deportation Arrested For Triple Murder

Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez was arrested for possession of marijuana in North Carolina in 2012. He was in the country illegally. In January of 2013, Rangel-Hernandez requested deferred action pursuant to President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. 

Without a proper background check being performed (or perhaps without his background check being properly reviewed) prior to his request being approved, it was overlooked that he was a gang member and did not qualify for the DACA program. He was released as a legal resident under Obama's program.

Today Rangel-Hernandez sits in a North Carolina jail charged with the murders of three Americans.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), sent a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Leon Rodriguez in an effort to learn how such a mistake could have happened that resulted in the deaths of three American citizens. Basically, Rodriguez said "We didn't follow our own procedures."

“Based on standard procedures and protocols in place at the time, the DACA request and related employment authorization should not have been approved,”
Rodriguez wrote in response to Grassley's letter. "Given the fact that the individual was identified as a known gang member, his request should have been denied by the adjudicator. If an adjudicator found a reason to accept a known gang member into the program, that request would have to be elevated to higher level officials at USCIS."

No kidding.

Senator Grassley wasn't pleased.

“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,” he said. “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.”

“The USCIS needs to immediately start performing detailed criminal background checks to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future,” added Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

Director Rodriguez assured the Senators that steps would be taken to prevent a similar incident in the future. 

“Officers received DACA refresher training regarding disqualifying public safety and criminality concerns, including but not limited to gang membership, significant misdemeanors, and three or more misdemeanor criminal offenses,” he wrote.

Grassley also sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking how a gang member's affiliation could be overlooked and how a known criminal could have been approved for DACA. Their answer was "USCIS doesn't track that information and each file would have to be manually screened. We are working to correct that."

I'm sure that makes the families of the victims feel much better...

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