An illegal alien, accused of killing four law enforcement officers, was able to remain in the United States because of President Obama’s policies, nine Republican Senators say.
Ivan Robles Navejas, a 28-year-old illegal alien from Mexico, was arrested and charged in July by the Kerr County, Texas Sheriff’s Office on six counts of intoxication, assault with a vehicle, and three counts of intoxicated vehicular manslaughter.
According to police, Navejas was drunk-driving when he hit and killed four members of the Thin Blue Line motorcycle club — a group of active duty service members, law enforcement officers, and retired officers. Investigators say Navejas was intoxicated about an hour before the fatal crash.
Those killed include:
- 39-year-old Niles, Illinois Police Sgt. Joseph Lazo
- 48-year-old retired officer Joseph “GT” Paglia of Chicago
- 74-year-old retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jerry “Wings” Harbour of Houston
- 20-something retired U.S. Army officer Michael “Psycho” White of Chicago
In a letter to Department of Homeland Security officials, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Mike Lee (R-UT) are asking the agency to provide details on Navejas’ immigration statuses, his encounters with police, and his initial date of entry to the U.S.
The GOP Senators write that Obama era policies, such as DACA and refusal to prioritize illegal alien drunk drivers for deportation, allowed Navejas to stay in the country:
Furthermore, we were also disturbed to read that Mr. Navejas was shielded from deportation with status granted under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2013. After his DACA status subsequently expired in 2015, he remained unlawfully present in the United States without consequence and was afforded the opportunity to re-offend. Media reports indicate that Mr. Navejas was charged with driving under the influence in 2016, but ICE did not pursue deportation action against him. Instead, the agency exercised prosecutorial discretion because the Obama administration did not consider a DUI arrest to be a serious offense warranting deportation. [Emphasis added]
Mr. Navejas’ encounter with immigration officials following his charge for driving under the influence in 2016 should have been enough to see him placed in removal proceedings, but ICE was hindered by the Obama administration’s guidance on civil immigration enforcement priorities. Under that guidance, the Obama administration did not deem an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol to be a priority. The guidance further allowed for the use of discretion when taking enforcement action against those unlawfully present in the United States. ICE used that discretion in this case by choosing not to take enforcement action. [Emphasis added]
The Senators reveal in their letter that Navejas was able to secure conditional lawful permanent residency to stay in the U.S. after his 2016 drunk driving arrest. Then, in November 2018, Navejas was charged with aggravated assault after allegedly pinning a man to a vehicle, assaulting him, and biting off a portion of his ear.
Navejas was able to post bail and was still not deported because his conditional lawful permanent residency had not yet expired. His residency expired in January 2019, the Senators write.
“Ivan Navejas should have been deported for his crimes, which culminated in the alleged murder of several members of the Thin Blue Line Motorcycle Club,” Cotton wrote in a statement. “Four Americans are now dead from a failure to deport this dangerous criminal. We deserve to know why.”
Since DACA’s inception, more than 2,100 recipients of the program have been kicked off because they were found to be either criminals or gang members.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.