The illegal immigrant who was arrested this week in Arizona for a sex crime against a three-year old girl, was being shielded from repatriation by President Barack Obama’s 2012 ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ program, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The little girl was found Monday, while duct-taped, inside a trash bag, and covered in feces in a closet in an apartment occupied by Francisco Rios-Covarrubias. He was charged with kidnapping, sexual conduct with a minor, felony child abuse, and sex trafficking. The child’s mother was also arrested.
Rios-Covarrubias was caught after he allegedly offered the girl for sex to another man, who subsequently notified the police.
According to reports, Rios-Covarrubias was denied bail due to his immigration status.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) say their committee has information that Rios-Covarrubias was protected from repatriation by Obama’s 2012 decision to largely halt deportations of younger illegals, and to give them work-permits.
“According to information received by the Committee, 30-yr-old Rios-Covarrubias was a recipient of deferred action under the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” Grassley and Flake wrote in a letter Friday to DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson.
“This is just one of those cases that shocks the soul,” Mesa Police Chief John Meza told reporters at a press conference.
“We cannot agree more,” Grassley and Flake wrote. “For months the Committee has inquired into numerous incidents of DACA recipients enjoying DACA privileges after investigations, arrests, or convictions for violent or predatory crimes.”
“The DACA recipients referenced in those letters are charged with various crimes including several counts of murder, suspicion of second-degree murder, possession of child pornography, and child molestation. Yet, criminals are still allowed to retain or apply for DACA privileges, and victims pay the price,” they added.
Grassley and Flake in their letter pressed DHS to confirm that Rios-Covarrubias is in fact an amnesty recipient.
They further asked if Rios-Covarrubias had a criminal history before receiving DACA, whether ICE has terminated his work authorization, and if he had ever been investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) before.
As the lawmakers noted in their letter, if Rios-Covarrubias was indeed a DACA beneficiary, he follows a long line of similar individuals granted DACA who were subsequently charged with serous crimes such as child molestation and murder.