GOP Judiciary Heads: Criminal Immigrant Re-Entries A ‘Serious Problem’

With the Senate poised to take up legislation targeting criminal aliens who illegally reenter the U.S., the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees are expressing concern about a recent incident in which a multiple felon illegal immigrant was apprehended attempting to illegally re-enter the U.S. and then released.

Last month, Luis Golberto-Molina was arrested trying to illegally reenter the U.S. Despite nine prior felony convictions, committing the crime of illegal reentry, and efforts by Yuma County Colorado officials to extradite him for a 14-year old felony warrant, Golberto-Molina was released.

“This case shows the serious problem of criminal aliens who reenter this country repeatedly. As was the case in Kate Steinle’s murder, this fugitive alien reentered the country five times, but was subsequently released,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) wrote in a letter to DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson Friday.

Grassley and Goodlatte were referring to the murder that has sparked a national outcry over cities that do not cooperate with immigration authorities, known as sanctuary cities, and repeat criminal alien reentries.

Steinle’s alleged killer was a multiple deportee illegal immigrant with a long rap sheet. He had been released from custody some three months before shooting Steinle due to San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy of not honoring federal immigration detainers.

In Golberto-Molina’s case the details are slightly different but the trend of criminal aliens walking is similar.

“According to the Sheriff, on September 15, [Customs and Border Protection] informed them that it apprehended Golberto-Molina while he was attempting to re-enter the country illegally.  In response to this notification, the Sheriff’s Office told CBP that it would extradite the fugitive for his 14-year-old felony warrant,” Goodlatte and Grassley detailed in their letter. “However, CBP released Golberto-Molina when the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute him for his illegal reentry.  It is unclear from this report whether Golberto-Molina was released back into the public, or removed from the U.S.”

The letter further highlighted a press release from the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, which read that the explanation given was “We’ll get him next time.”

The pair went on to request further information on the reasons for Golberto-Molina’s release, his immigration and criminal history and the prevalence of releases such as his.

The missive comes as the Senate is expected to take up a bill this week targeting sanctuary cities that would also levy harsher sentences on criminal aliens who illegally reenter the U.S.


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