Was The Gang Member Who Murdered Former ‘America’s Top Model’ Contestant An Obama DREAMer?

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley sent a letter on Friday to DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson questioning whether the suspected killer of Mirjana Puhar, a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model,” was an illegal immigrant who applied for amnesty under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez, a 19-year-old reputed gang member, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Puhar, also 19, and three others in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this week.

“Mr. Rangel-Hernandez allegedly applied for and received deferred action under the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, wrote to Johnson.

DACA, which Obama enacted through executive authority in June 2012, provides amnesty to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. In Obama’s latest immigration executive action, he expanded DACA by relaxing some of the requirements needed for recipients — so-called DREAMers — to qualify for relief.

As Grassley’s office noted in a press release announcing the letter, he has expressed concern in the past that the Obama administration puts pressure on DHS to expedite DACA applications. In a 2012 letter to then-Sec. Janet Napolitano, Grassley asserted that DACA application reviewers will have their decisions “scrutinized until they get to a yes.”

In Friday’s letter, Grassley asked Johnson to provide several key documents from DHS and its sub-agencies related to Rangel-Hernandez’s immigration status and his application for DACA.

Grassley also pressed Johnson to answer whether Rangel-Hernandez ever applied for DACA and whether the application was approved. If approved, Grassley seeks a copy of the application.

Grassley also queried whether U.S. Customs and Immigration Services knew that Rangel-Hernandez was in a gang if and when his DACA application was approved.

“If approved for DACA, has Rangel-Hernandez’s DACA grant been terminated? Has his employment authorization been terminated? If so, when? If not, why not?” Grassley asked.

Grassley gave Johnson until March 9 to respond.

Puhar appeared on the the modeling reality TV show last year. According to local news reports, the murders are possibly drug-related.

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