Senator Bill Sasse skewered Sarah Saldana on Monday over her explanation for why the agency severely mishandled a case involving an illegal alien who is wanted for killing a woman in a drunken street race in January.
Even being convicted of homicide isn’t enough to ensure illegal immigrants are detained by federal agents, the government’s top deportation official said in a letter to Congress released Monday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana said neither Obama administration policy nor federal law required her agency to detain Edwin Mejia, who arrived in the U.S. illegally as part of the surge of unaccompanied children from Central America, after he was charged with vehicular homicide in Nebraska.
Still, she said her officers should have taken the initiative to detain him of their own volition and that she has notified all of her bureaus nationwide to do a better job of evaluating people they’re called to detain.
THIS WOMAN SHOULD BE FIRED!
Mr. Mejia stands accused of a drunken-driving accident this year that killed a young Iowa woman in Omaha — but federal immigration agents never showed up to collect him. After he posted bond with local authorities, he absconded.
“After further review, we believe that further enforcement action would have served an important federal interest in this case,” Ms. Saldana said in a letter to Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, which the senator released Monday.
ICE said it first encountered Mr. Mejia, who also goes by the first name Eswin, at the border in Arizona in May 2013. He was a 16-year-old at the time. The Border Patrol, acting under President Obama’s interpretation of the law, admitted Mr. Mejia and turned him over to social services, then eventually sent him to live with his brother in the U.S.
SARAH ROOT PICTURED ABOVE – Sarah Root’s mother, Michelle Root said she’s disappointed in ICE.“It was our daughter that was taken and he was not here legally and something higher should have been done,” said Root.
Ms. Saldana did not say whether the brother was in the U.S. legally.
In January, police say, Mr. Mejia was street racing while drunk when he struck the vehicle driven by Sarah Root, 21. She died as a result of her injuries.
Mr. Mejia posted bond on the homicide charge, and ICE officers did not come pick him up for detention, allowing him to disappear into the shadows.
Now ICE is scrambling to try to find him.