Precisely how many more of these stories do we need to see?
Out in Nebraska, Senator Ben Sasse is up in arms after an illegal immigrant accused of killing a woman with his car while driving drunk was released from custody and then failed to show up for court mandated appointments. Who could have possibly seen that one coming? (Fox News)
Immigration officials have placed a 19-year-old Honduran who entered the United States as part of the so-called border surge of 2014 on its Most Wanted list for disappearing while out on bail on charges of killing a Nebraska woman while driving drunk.
But Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) says the action by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is too little, too late.
On his website Sasse said that Edwin Mejia, whose whereabouts are unknown and also goes by the name Eswin, should never have been released after he killed 21-year-old Sarah Root in January while he driving drunk at a high speed. Root had graduated from college just hours before the fatal accident.
Sasse has every reason to be upset. The police knew that Mejia was an illegal alien as soon as he was picked up. At his initial hearing, despite objections from prosecutors, the Honduran “undocumented immigrant” was released on bail with an order to show up for Breathalyzer testing twice per day until his next court appearance. They never saw him again.
How on Earth could the court not even suspect that someone who had just been identified as being in the country illegally while killing a woman with his car might go on the lam? More to the point, where was ICE during all of this? As Sasse correctly notes, immigration control has the option to place a detainer on illegals as soon as they are in custody, allowing the local cops to hold them until ICE can show up, take them into custody and hold them for either further criminal prosecution or deportation hearings. The Douglas County Police Department supposedly put in a request with ICE to do just that, but they passed on the opportunity, saying that the culprit’s actions, “did not meet ICE’s enforcement priorities.”
Given the marching orders coming out of the White House for the past couple of years, you can almost understand how they might have allowed Meijia to walk if he’d simply been picked up for a bar brawl or some other minor infraction, but we’re supposed to be holding on to felons, aren’t we? And this guy was in a cell because he’d just killed somebody. (Allegedly) This isn’t San Francisco or some other “sanctuary city” we’re talking about here. It’s Omaha, Nebraska. The problem wasn’t the locals in this case, but ICE itself and their refusal to do what’s called for when we’ve got an illegal alien in a cell with ample evidence to suspect they are guilty of a serious crime.
Don’t pin this one on Mayor Jean Stothert or the city council. This is a failure of policy at the federal level and it’s sadly not the only case of its kind out there. The locals can only do so much if they can’t secure the help of the feds and immigration control.