Published May 18, 2024

ICE Points To Biden Admin Policy As Reason Illegal Immigrant Accused Of Murdering Teen Was Out Free

Written by
The Dakotan
| The Dakotan

By JASON HOPKINS (Daily Caller News Foundation)

Federal immigration authorities cited a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy directive when explaining their handling of an illegal immigrant who is now charged with the murder of a teenager.

Antonio Antonio-Rodas, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, was arrested and charged with murder last week for a fatal car accident in Alabama involving a 19-year-old.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed to the DCNF that they had been aware of Antonio-Rodas’ criminal history and legal status since he was arrested for a DUI in 2021, but cited the COVID-19 pandemic and a directive issued by (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that altered enforcement priorities as a reason for not taking custody of him at the time.

The Semmes Police Department arrested Antonio-Rodas earlier this month for a car crash on April 28 in a Mobile, Alabama, suburb that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Adam Luker.

On the day of the deadly accident, calls were made to law enforcement about a reckless driver on the road, according to the crash report. Responding officers noticed “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the driver” and discovered “open and unopened alcohol containers in his car.”

Antonio-Rodas was driving 88 miles per hour when the crash occurred and a blood alcohol test showed his level to be three times more than the legal limit, according to local reports.

ICE confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation that Antonio-Rodas unlawfully entered the U.S.

“On an unknown date and location, Antonio entered the United States without inspection, admission, or parole by an immigration officer,” an ICE spokesperson stated. “On Dec. 27, 2018, the United States Border (USBP) arrested Antonio near Hidalgo, Texas and served him with a Notice to Appear.”

“On Jan. 4, 2019, ERO San Antonio released him on an order of recognizance,” the statement continued.

Nearly three years after being released from ERO (ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations), however, he was on the agency’s radar for a DUI arrest. ERO New Orleans encountered Antonio-Rodas at the Mobile County Metro Jail following his arrest for DUI in November 2021 — an incident in which he was convicted in September 2022.

At the time of the encounter, the agency said, ERO officers were prioritizing their enforcement actions in accordance with the Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law issued by Mayorkas on September 30, 2021.

That policy directive — citing the millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. — encouraged agencies to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” when determining who should be subject to arrests, detainers and removal proceedings. The memo also claimed that the majority of illegal immigrants who could be subject for removal have been “contributing members of our communities for years.”

The agency additionally said the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduced the number of illegal immigrants ICE agents were able to arrest and deport, and also pointed to the immigration crisis which forced the agency to divert resources to the southern border.

ICE lodged a detainer request with the Mobile County Metro Police Department for Antonio-Rodas on May 9, one day after he was arrested locally on murder charges, the agency confirmed to the DCNF.

However, the murder victim’s family is unhappy that this man wasn’t deported sooner.

“If that had been the case, then this would have never happened,” stated Will Phillips, an attorney who represents the family, according to Fox10 News. “You know, the federal government has access to all of the, you know, information about arrests and that kind of thing.”

The incident comes as Mayorkas continues to take heavy GOP criticism for not doing enough to address the immigration crisis, which has seen record numbers of illegal immigrants cross the southern border.

The GOP-controlled House voted to impeach the DHS secretary in February. However, the Democrat-controlled Senate dismissed those impeachment charges in April.

Luker succumbed to his wounds about a week after the crash. A GoFundMe was launched to help support the family.

Stay connected to the latest news
Subscription Form (#3)

About the Author

Trending Now
The Dakotan Newsletter
Subscribe to get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox
Newsletter Form (#4)
© AndMuse, LLC 2024 Login Email
LIVE: 2022 Minot Mayoral Forum
Click to Watch Live
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram