A group of Republican senators is investigating how a man illegally in the country was allowed to remain in the United States and keep his DACA status, even after multiple violent encounters with law enforcement for illegal activity. DACA recipients live in the United States without official authorization.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) led a group of his Senate colleagues to write a letter Thursday to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting a host of documents related to Ivan Robles Navejas’ immigration and law enforcement encounter history.
“We are concerned by reports that this individual was in the United States unlawfully and, despite having been encountered by law enforcement and immigration officials on previous occasions, no action was taken to ensure that this criminal alien was removed from our communities,” the senators wrote.
In July Navejas, 28, was charged with causing a crash that claimed the lives of three in The Thin Blue Line motorcycle Law Enforcement Club and injured several others.
Texas’s Kerr County’s Sheriff’s office sent out a notice about the crash on July 18.
“There were three fatalities and 4 (not 9) members taken to the hospital in critical condition. The person that crossed the center stripe has been arrested for several counts of intoxicated manslaughter and intoxication assault,” the Facebook notice said.
According to its website, the Thin Blue Line LE MC is described as a “law enforcement motorcycle club, whose members are active duty, retired or reserve law enforcement officers from a variety of agencies and jurisdictions, along with our civilian friends who support us in our profession. Together, we share the love of American-made motorcycles, the wind in our faces, and the brotherhood of like-minded motorcyclists.”
The Republican senators wrote that the deaths caused by Navejas’ driving drunk, could have been avoided if immigration laws were more strict.
“As is so often the case, this tragedy was completely avoidable had this nation’s immigration laws been enforced as they should have been during the Obama administration,” the GOP lawmakers wrote.
According to a report by a local Texas newspaper police records show that at the time of the crash in 2020, Navejas was awaiting “trial on a 2018 felony aggravated assault charge,” in which he is alleged to have struck someone with a truck and then bit off part of the man’s ear.
“Agency records indicate that Ivan Robles-Navejas was not subject to removal when arrested by Bexar County in 2018 due to his conditional permanent resident status. As a result, ICE did not lodge a detainer on him at that time,” ICE said in a statement to KENS5 New.
The senators criticized the Obama era immigration rules that allowed Navejas to stay in the United States even after an encounter with immigration officials following his charge for driving under the influence in 2016 and resisting arrest in 2013.
The senators condemned the fact that the Obama era rule did not consider an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol to be cause for deportation.
The senators argue that this DUI, “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,” the Senators wrote.
“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,” they wrote.
Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined Grassley to request that all records related to Navejas’ immigration case be sent to them by Sept. 17.