Romanian Criminal Enters U.S. Through Texas, Gets Ousted Via Las Vegas
Nothing exposes the chaotic and porous conditions of the southern border like a foreign criminal being allowed into the U.S. to commit more crimes here. Consider the case of a Romanian fugitive who showed up at Roma, Texas, earlier this year.
Alexandru Claudiu Pascu was on the run from authorities in his country, where he had been convicted for his involvement in a nightclub beating. Not sticking around for his prison sentence, the son of Romanian crime boss Marcel Kalu took flight and turned up at the border town of Roma, where he was detained.
U.S. authorities then released Pascu into the country “pending determination of his immigration status,” a government document stated. This enabled the convicted criminal to do what criminals often do: Commit more crimes.
On May 16th, Las Vegas police arrested the 24-year-old Pascu on local charges of domestic battery and discharging a weapon. Jailed after his conviction, Pascu caught the attention of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on August 26th. The agency lodged an immigration detainer request the same day, and a judge granted Pascu “voluntary departure” to Romania. He was removed from the U.S. on November 9th.
Unluckily for Pascu, he chose to go to Las Vegas, which cooperates with federal agencies to remove illegal aliens who commit violent crimes. Had he landed in any number of sanctuary jurisdictions around the country, he would likely have stayed off ICE’s radar.
“Foreign fugitives will not find safe haven within the U.S.,” declared Michael Bernacke, director of the ICE field office that got Pascu expelled. Too bad Bernacke’s claim is contradicted daily by sharp declines in criminal-alien removals under the Biden administration.
From the standpoint of immigration enforcement, the predicate problem was allowing Pascu into the U.S. in the first place. Why was he released into the country? Did U.S. Customs and Border Protection lack the time, resources or interest to properly vet the wanted criminal?
By not addressing these questions, officials raise additional concerns about national security, and shoot more holes in the nebulous statistics touting border “encounters.”
Meantime, the law is clear. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 significantly enhanced the government’s authority to detain and deport criminal aliens. Notably it increased the range of crimes constituting deportable offenses while eliminating most waivers. It specifically requires removal of aggravated felons.
Fortunately, and finally, Pascu is back home in Romania to serve his time. According to American immigration law, he should never have been here at all.