In the past two months, two undocumented immigrants previously encountered by law enforcement have been charged with raping children — and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte wants to know how and why the pair were able to remain at-large in the U.S. in the first place.
“Yet again, I must write to you to request information about criminal aliens whose unlawful presence in the United States has enabled them to allegedly perpetrate heinous crimes—this time involving two reported child rapists,” Goodlatte wrote in a letter to Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson Friday, sounding a note of exasperation.
Last month, officials in Kansas arrested Tomas Martinez-Maldonado — an undocumented immigrant from Mexico — for allegedly raping a 12-year-old child on a bus. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Martinez-Maldonado has been deported at least 10 times since 2010.
This month, Edis Moya Alas — an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador — was arrested for allegedly kidnapping and raping a six-year-old child in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Both of these alleged child predators were previously encountered by law enforcement agencies in the United States,” Goodlatte wrote.
“ICE has confirmed that Martinez-Maldonado has been removed to Mexico ten times during the last six years and has a 2013 felony conviction for illegal reentry after removal,” he added. “Alas was reportedly arrested in Fort Worth on drug charges approximately two years ago. After their respective arrests on the criminal charges, it would appear that both men should have been encountered and detained by ICE and placed in removal proceedings.”
The GOP chairman requested Martinez-Maldonado and Alas’ immigration and criminal records and more details on immigration enforcement’s prior encounters with the pair.
Read the letter here.