ICE Arrests Venezuelan Convicted of Murder Living in State-Funded Housing in Massachusetts
FAIR Take | November 2023
On October 27, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested a Venezuelan national living illegally in the U.S. who had been convicted of murder in his home country and was wanted by authorities since 2006 for violating his conditions of probation.
The Venezuelan was originally apprehended by Border Patrol in July of this year trying to sneak across the border near Eagle Pass, Texas. The Border Patrol screened the Venezuelan, but he failed to disclose the murder conviction. Border Patrol then released him with instructions to report to an ICE office within 60 days to register and obtain a notice to appear in immigration court. Not surprisingly, he failed to report to ICE as directed.
When ICE arrested the Venezuelan at the end of October, he was living in state-provided housing at Joint Base Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Base is a military facility jointly owned by the State of Massachusetts and the federal government, and is now one of the taxpayer-funded sites for migrant housing.
Other Venezuelans have been charged with crimes recently while illegally living in the U.S. Last week in Chicago, a sanctuary city heavily impacted by mass immigration, Luis Mendez-Gomez and Frank Montez-Davila were arrested and charged with felony burglary and retail theft after stealing $2,800 worth of merchandise from a Macy’s store in the city. This included designer clothing and high-end perfumes. Interestingly this is not the first time Macy’s has been targeted by Venezuelan criminals, with Abel Barrios-Estava and Rafael Mata-Torres (who appear to be unconnected to the first pair) also being charged with burglary and retail theft after they stole clothing items from Macy’s.
Sadly, criminal aliens are coming to the U.S. from many countries, not just Venezuela. In FY 2023, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrested nearly 48,000 aliens attempting to enter the U.S. who had criminal convictions or warrants for their arrest. That number marks a 20 percent increase from FY 2022 (40,359) and a 70 percent increase from FY 2021 (28,213).
These are just the arrests at our borders. Each year, in the interior of the U.S., ICE arrests tens of thousands of aliens who have committed crimes. In FY 2022, for example, ICE arrested over 36,000 aliens with criminal convictions. While this number of arrests is startling, it is down 65 percent over the number of criminal aliens arrested in FY 2018 (105,140).
With America under historic pressure at the border, the ability of border agents to properly screen aliens has been put to the ultimate test. Many unvetted aliens have slipped through the cracks. Earlier this year the Inspector General reported how the Border Patrol released an alien who was on the terror watchlist.
Given the record number of illegal aliens pouring over our borders, it is almost impossible for CBP to properly vet and process such enormous numbers of illegal aliens to filter out those with harmful intentions or histories. With 3.2 million illegal aliens encountered in FY 2023, and over 600,000 “gotaways” who evaded capture, the strain on resources, time and manpower has never been higher. Since January 2021, over 8 million illegal aliens have entered the U.S., and vetting and processing the equivalent of the entire population of New York City is exceptionally hard. If we do not secure our borders soon, something more serious than perfume theft from Macy’s may be in our future.