After four arrests – the latest involving a highway collision that killed three people – a Mexican national living illegally in Texas finally has the attention of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Ivan Robles Navejas, 28, was charged with multiple counts of drunken driving, intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault after his vehicle swerved into a group of motorcycle riders on a rural Texas highway. Ironically, victims of the noon-hour crash were members of the Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club. Robles was not injured.
At the time of the deadly crash, Robles was out on bail awaiting trial for a 2018 felony aggravated assault charge in which he allegedly struck another man with a truck before biting off part of the man’s left ear.
Before that violent episode, Robles had been arrested in 2016 on suspicion of drunken driving. Prior that, he was apprehended in 2013 and convicted in 2015 of evading arrest.
None of those arrests triggered an ICE detainer, which would have kept Robles off the streets and, in all likelihood, led to his deportation. (A 2017 Texas anti-sanctuary law requires local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal immigration agents.)
An ICE spokeswoman said that though agents encountered Robles at the Kerr County Jail after his 2016 arrest, he did not meet the agency’s criteria for issuing a detainer request under the Obama-era Priority Enforcement Program – the “priority” being to have ICE ignore all but the most violent and dangerous criminal aliens.
Noting that it took four run-ins with the law – and three fatalities — before ICE ordered a hold to keep Robles behind bars, a conservative South Texas commentator called it “outrageous that illegal aliens continue to commit crimes in the U.S.”
George Rodriguez also assailed media outlets for failing to exercise journalistic due diligence in identifying Robles’s illegal immigration status. Most news accounts benignly described him as a resident of Center Point, a small town a few miles from the crash site.
“Americans will never understand the full extent of the problems with illegal alien criminals as long as the news media considers political correctness more important than the truth,” Rodriguez asserted.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety records, 219,000 illegal aliens in the state have been charged with more than 350,000 criminal offenses since 2011.
Robles’s deadly run-in with honorable members of the Thin Blue Line motorcycle club adds to that grisly total. Had the wheels of justice been engaged – not merely serving as a revolving door — this latest tragedy was entirely avoidable.