Deportation is no longer in the cards for an illegal immigrant accused of the hit-and-run death of a 19-year-old Texas woman.
Adrienne Sophia Exum died in a north Houston crash in November 2020 when the car she was driving was hit by a pickup truck driver, Heriberto Fuerte-Padilla, according to KTRK-TV. She was ejected from her car and died at the scene.
Police said Fuerte-Padilla was drunk at the time of the crash and tried to run away from police after the accident.
In the closing days of the Trump administration, Fuerte-Padilla, who was in the country illegally, was marked for deportation.
Illegal immigration is at a 21-year-high.
Meanwhile, ICE deportations have dropped 90%.
If Joe Biden was working for the cartels, what would he do different?
— Jackson Lahmeyer (@JacksonLahmeyer) December 8, 2021
But now, as the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement implement new Biden administration rules designed to reduce the number of deportations, Fuerte-Padilla is no longer up for deportation, according to the Washington Times.
After one year of the disastrous #BidenBorderCrisis, the Biden Admin has still neglected to report @ICEgov arrests and deportations for 2021. The American people deserve answers and transparency. What are they hiding? https://t.co/3bA0Hj1hGe
— Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. (@RepGregMurphy) January 29, 2022
The case is one of many in which federal officials are telling Texas officials that law-breakers are not important enough to be deported.
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“Here we have a law enforcement agency handing ICE a criminal alien on a silver platter and ICE saying no thank you, and then the law enforcement agency saying really? And ICE saying no, we really don’t want to take this person,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Texas and Louisiana are pushing back and have filed suit in federal court. A similar case is underway involving officials from Arizona, Montana and Ohio.
Vaughn said that the Biden administration’s claim that there is just not enough money to cover the costs of deporting criminal illegal immigrants will face very strict scrutiny.
“What could really sink the administration’s case on this is the fact that they have gone so far in slashing deportations that they’ve crossed whatever gray line there might have been between their need to exercise discretion because of resource limits and willfully not enforcing the law,” she said.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has changed the Trump-era rules, so being in the country illegally does not mean ICE will deport someone. Only those that are national security risks, recent illegal entrants or a public safety risk qualify under the new rules.
ICE will not comment about the Fuerte-Padilla case or others involved in current litigation.
Vaughn explained that even before the Trump administration stepped up deportations, Fuerte-Padilla and others like him would have been deported.
“Anyone reading these rap sheets would say of course these people should be removed, and there shouldn’t be any hair-splitting on whether they are an aggravated felon, how much time they served, whether they’re contributing to the community,” she stated.