ICE Cites Biden Admin Policy In Handling Of Illegal Immigrant Charged With Murder

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pointed to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy directive when explaining its handling of an illegal immigrant now charged with the murder of a teenager in Alabama. Antonio Antonio-Rodas, who unlawfully entered the U.S. from Guatemala, was arrested and charged last week for a fatal car accident involving 19-year-old Adam Luker.

ICE confirmed they were aware of Antonio-Rodas’ criminal history and legal status since his 2021 DUI arrest. However, the agency cited the COVID-19 pandemic and a directive issued by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas altering enforcement priorities as reasons for not taking custody of him at the time.

The Mayorkas policy directive, issued in September 2021, encouraged agencies to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” when determining who should be subject to arrests, detainers and removal proceedings. The memo claimed that the majority of illegal immigrants who could be subject for removal have been “contributing members of our communities for years.”

ICE also pointed to the immigration crisis, which forced the agency to divert resources to the southern border, and the pandemic’s impact on the number of illegal immigrants they could arrest and deport. The agency lodged a detainer request for Antonio-Rodas on May 9, one day after his arrest on murder charges.

The victim’s family expressed dissatisfaction with the handling of the case, with their attorney stating, “If that had been the case, then this would have never happened.”

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