Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials refuse to share the case file of a convicted criminal and illegal immigrant suspected of murdering five men, including one of Sen. Claire McCaskill’s constituents, the Missouri Democrat said Wednesday.
An exasperated McCaskill said to the Senate Committee On Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) hearing on border security that the file that may provide answers to how ICE failures allowed convicted felon Pablo Antonio Serrano-Vitorino to escape. He skirted multiple encounters with police, re-entered the country illegally after deportation, and allegedly murdered four men in Kansas and 49-year-old Randy Nordman in Missouri in March 2016.
“If we want to stop future tragedies, we have to see that file,” said McCaskill, who is the panel’s ranking minority member, as she faced Nordman’s widow, Julie, who testified Wednesday. “We have to understand the mistakes that were made. And we have to have our questions answered.”
ICE officials cited privacy concerns for refusing to disclose the file, a claim that “flies in the face” of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order declaring non-citizens have no privacy rights, McCaskill said.
McCaskill said ICE Director Thomas Homan also refused to appear at Wednesday’s hearing or send a representative. President Donald Trump named Homan acting director of the agency in January.
“It would have been nice to have somebody from ICE at this table to look at you and say ‘I’m sorry,’ and to acknowledge the failures of that agency,” McCaskill told Nordman.
McCaskill said Serrano-Vitorino “never should have been in this country” at all.
The illegal immigrant had multiple run-ins with police in the U.S. dating back to 1998, and federal officials deported him to Mexico in 2004, according to ICE. He somehow re-entered the country and was convicted of domestic battery in Kansas in 2015, according to the AP. ICE failed to pick him up, so Serrano-Vitorino pleaded guilty, paid a fine, and walked free.
Nordman said those events led to her husband’s “senseless murder” in their Missouri home March 8, 2016, likely as the illegal immigrant attempted to take car keys to flee law enforcement from his alleged quadruple murder in Kansas the day before.
Serrano-Vitorino faces charges of five counts of first degree murder.
“Not only has ice failed us, but our borders have failed us,” Nordman told the committee.
HSGAC Chairman and Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson guaranteed Nordman she will obtain all the answers she needs from ICE and other federal and local officials.
The Daily Caller News Foundation has reported federal immigration court judges allow one in three illegal immigrants charged with crimes to go free, according to data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). (Judges Give ‘Defacto Amnesty’ To 1/3 Of Illegals Charged With Crimes)
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