An illegal alien from Mexico pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of secretly filming a woman in a Walmart bathroom and he might soon be released into the U.S., according to the local sheriff.
He was sentenced to 270 days in jail and could be released as early as next month. Border Patrol currently has an immigration hold placed on the Mexican national.
Jose Santos Argueta was arrested on Valentine’s Day after a Hispanic woman noticed a cell phone on the floor under her public bathroom stall, according to San Angelo Live. She realized she was being filmed and contacted store security and the San Angelo Police Department. Argueta gave permission for police to go through his phone and the video was found.
He has been in jail since being arrested, and the 243 days he spent behind bars will be credited towards his 270-day sentence. Despite the immigration hold placed by federal authorities, under President Obama’s Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), it is possible that Argueta could be released from custody and set free as early as next month.
In an interview with Breitbart Texas, Tom Green County Sheriff David Jones said it is a very real concern. “He certainly could be released,” Sheriff Jones said. “We have had several people who were convicted and turned over to federal authorities released. It is a very real concern.”
Sheriff Jones said he has a good working relationship with the men and women who serve as Border Patrol agents locally. “The problem,” Jones stated, “comes from the orders they receive from higher up.”
Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick has reported extensively on the work Texas sheriffs have been doing to try and make the public aware of the dangers of this PEP program. Earlier this month, Shadwick reported the Department of Justice’s plans to release 2,000 foreign citizens from federal custody beginning as early as October 30. “Law enforcement should always be concerned when this number of criminals will be released.” Jackson County Sheriff Aj Louderback told Breitbart Texas in an interview. Louderback also serves as legislative director of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas. “I am also concerned that although the federal government claims they will be deported, as many as 2,000 illegal aliens could be released into our communities.”
The October 7 Breitbart Texas article explains the issues regarding PEP:
PEP is a federal program which Louderback and other law enforcement officials say “endangers communities, rather than secures them, from the ravages of illegal immigrant crime.” The sheriff is talking to anyone who will listen about the program.
The PEP program has replaced a congressionally-mandated program that governed how U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials dealt with criminal aliens. This program replaced the Secured Communities Program. The more aggressive 287(g) program has also been eliminated.
The PEP policy was released by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in November of 2014. In January, the program went into effect and Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby exclusively reported leaked training documents detailing how the program would be implemented. Darby dubbed the program, “Catch and Release 2.0.”
In August, Louderback led a group of Texas sheriffs to the Texas Capitol for a press conference announcing their concerns about the PEP program. He said the PEP program forces Texas sheriffs to sometimes even release violent offenders. Louderback told Breitbart Texas at that time, that criminal aliens know that law enforcement officials in Texas have their hands tied because of these new federal policies. They know they can come into the country illegally and stay here with impunity.
Now, a Hispanic woman in San Angelo must wonder whether justice will be served and the illegal alien who invaded her privacy will be deported or sent back on the streets of San Angelo where he will be free to film more women in bathrooms.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.