The chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees are pressing the Obama administration on how a previously deported illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal record — now charged with murdering five people — was able to evade deportation for years.
Pablo Antonio Serrano-Vitorino, an illegal immigrant from Mexico with numerous criminal convictions, was charged last week with the murder of five people in Kansas City, Kansas and Montgomery County, Missouri.
”On at least two occasions, ICE was notified of Serrano-Vitorino’s arrests, but for various reasons, did not take custody of him,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA). “It appears that there was a systemic failure to effectively communicate between ICE and local law enforcement entities, allowing Serrano-Vitorino to evade removal by taking advantage of at least one sanctuary jurisdiction and weak immigration enforcement policies.”
The lawmakers noted that, according to ICE, Serrano-Vitorino initially entered the U.S. illegally in 1993 but was deported following a number of crimes in April, 2004. Following his removal, he re-entered the country illegally that same month but was returned to Mexico by Border Patrol. He returned illegally again in 2007.
While in the U.S. Serrano-Vitorino has been arrested, charged, and convicted of with a number of violent crimes. As the chairmen detailed in their letter, “Serrano-Vitorino has been arrested and charged with numerous crimes, including: communicating a threat with intent to terrorize; battery of a spouse; several driving without a license offenses; a subsequent felony conviction for communicating a threat with intent to terrorize, reportedly based on his threat to kill his wife with a rifle, for which he was sentenced to incarceration for two years; two arrests for driving under the influence, which resulted in one conviction; and a conviction for domestic battery.”
Goodlatte and Grassley say they want more details on his immigration history and contact with law enforcement to learn more about how Serrano-Vitorino was able to remain in the U.S. despite his illegal status and criminal record.
“As a result, five people in Missouri and Kansas were murdered, allegedly by Serrano-Vitorino, an alien who had illegally entered the United States on multiple occasions and consistently demonstrated his utter disregard for our laws,” they wrote.
The chairmen’s most recent missive follows a long line of letters to the Obama administration expressing outrage and demanding answers for how illegal immigrants with criminal records have slipped through the cracks and gone on to commit more, often violent crimes.