The murder suspect in the slaying of several people in North Carolina, including former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Mijana Puhar, is an illegal immigrant shielded from deportation by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, two Republican senators confirm.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) say they have evidence that alleged murderer Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez is an illegal immigrant and DACA beneficiary.
Records obtained by the Judiciary Committee reveal that although Rangel-Hernandez was placed in removal proceedings after he was brought up on drug charges, the removal proceedings were dismissed because he was approved for DACA.
“According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Arrest Affidavit, Mr. Rangel-Hernandez was arrested for misdemeanor possession of Marijuana on March 30, 2012,” the GOP senators explained their findings in a letter to DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson Friday.
“As a result of his arrest and unlawful status in the United States, Mr. Rangel-Hernandez was put into removal proceedings by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after his arrest on March 30, 2012,” the pair continued. “Subsequently, Mr. Rangel-Hernandez’s removal proceedings were dismissed on December 18, 2013 due to his approved DACA application.”
According to the senators, whistleblowers also say that Rangel-Hernandez was able to obtain DACA protections despite his known gang affiliations.
“This raises serious concerns about USCIS’s review and approval of other DACA applicants and points to potential vulnerabilities in the system,” they write. “Therefore, we are seeking the Department’s official policy related to DACA adjudications for suspected or known gang members.”
Grassley and Tillis go on to press Johnson on how many DACA applicants have been approved with gang and criminal affiliations as well as how many have been denied for such reasons. They further request information on how the government is working to ensure applicants are denied status or terminated for such affiliations.