Florida Murder Suspect Posed as an Unaccompanied Alien Minor to Enter the U.S.
FAIR Take | November 2021
A 24-year-old Honduran man was charged with the murder of a Florida father after he crossed the United States-Mexico border illegally this year, posing as an unaccompanied alien minor to get around immigration and public health restrictions at the southern border. Yery Noel Medina Ulloa was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida in early October after admitting to stabbing Francisco Javier Cuellar, who had taken him in. Ulloa pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court last week.
While the Biden administration has maintained use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s emergency health order authorized by Title 42 of the United States Code to turn away aliens at the border, they continue to exempt unaccompanied alien minors and, following a recent court order, family units (or any children accompanied by adult relatives) from the rule. In addition to COVID-related health risks, the administration’s arbitrary exemptions invite identity fraud and pose a substantial risk to American communities.
Ulloa, who was 23 at the time of Cuellar’s death, told his mother that he provided a false name and age in order to be allowed to remain in the United States after crossing the border illegally earlier this year. “When he entered [the US] he told me, ‘Mommy, I didn’t go in with my name,’” Ulloa’s mother, Wendy Florencia Ulloa, told Univision. “‘I went in with the name of another person because right there at the shelter they helped me.” Posing as a minor allowed Ulloa to avoid expulsion from the United States under Title 42.
The horrific crime highlights the public safety threats and national security concerns posed by the Biden administration’s management of the historic crisis on the border. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported unprecedented numbers of illegal border crossings since President Biden took office. In fiscal year (FY) 2021, the agency reported a total of 1,956,519 enforcement actions, including 1,734,686 apprehensions just on the southern land border. Of these encounters, nearly 150,000 apprehensions included unaccompanied alien minors and nearly 480,000 involved family units. The Title 42 authority, as implemented by the Biden administration, however, currently allows CBP to expel approximately just 44% of aliens apprehended at the border.
Following the homicide, Governor DeSantis issued a statement condemning the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis. “This horrific crime is the latest example of how unfettered illegal migration costs Floridians’ lives,” DeSantis said in a statement. “If not for the Biden Administration’s unlawful ‘catch and release’ policy, [victim] Francisco Cuellar would still be alive today.”