In yet another instance of the Obama administration granting executive amnesty to a criminal, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is pressing the Department of Homeland Security on whistleblower charges that a convicted statutory rapist was able to benefit from Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Thursday Grassley revealed that whistleblowers say Abarca Torres Alvaro — arrested in February 2013 and convicted of statutory rape that October — received DACA in April 2013.
“He retained DACA even after he was convicted of the crime and served prison time,” Grassley wrote in a letter to DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson dated Wednesday.
“According to whistleblowers, Mr. Abarca Torres Alvaro was arrested on the charge of statutory rape in February of 2013,” the Iowa lawmaker elaborated. “Two months later in April of 2013, Torres was granted DACA. In October of 2013, Mr. Torres was convicted of statutory rape, and sentenced to two years in prison. While in prison, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) allegedly served Mr. Torres with an I-851 Form, a Notice of Intent to Issue a Final Administrative Deportation Order.”
Alvaro is the latest in a string of DACA recipients Grassley has highlighted as individuals undeserving of immigration benefits. On other occasions Grassley has pressed the administration on illegal immigrants granted DACA who have been charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder, suspicion of second-degree murder, possession of child pornography, and child molestation.
“Concerns about DHS’s ability to communicate and coordinate internally (between ICE and USCIS) and externally (with local law enforcement agencies) have been raised with increased frequency by various news outlets,” Grassley added in his missive. These reports are quite alarming and suggest a widespread coordination breakdown within DHS. The growing number of allegations relating to failed collaboration between ICE and USCIS raise several public safety concerns with the DACA program’s administration.”
According to Grassley’s whistleblowers, after Alvaro was released from prison he was never taken into custody for removal but was instead sent a DACA renewal notice in early 2015.
“This renewal notice was sent two years after Mr. Torres was reportedly served with an I-851 form. This recent example once again highlights the inability of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components to properly communicate and coordinate, raising significant concerns about the agency’s ability to effectively administer the DACA program,” Grassley noted.
In his letter, Grassley called for DHS to answer a detailed list of questions dealing with Alvaro and the protections in place for preventing convicts from maintaining DACA benefits.