A 24-year-old-illegal alien has brutally murdered a Florida father of four after posing as a minor at the southern border, according to a groundbreaking report from the New York Post. The tragic incident reveals the consequences of the Biden administration’s catch and release policies that have brought in hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens into the country with unknown backgrounds.
Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, a Honduran national, illegally entered the country at the Texas-Mexico border several months ago. After being apprehended, Ulloa told immigration authorities that he was 17 years old and was named Reynel Alexander Hernandez. Immigration authorities gave Ulloa a Notice to Appear (NTA)—a court document that instructs an individual to appear before an immigration judge at a later date—and was subsequently released into the interior of the country.
Ulloa was released to a man named Francisco Javier Cuellar, a Jacksonville, Florida, resident and a father of four children. It remains unclear how Ulloa arrived to Florida, but it’s possible that the Biden administration flew him from Texas to Florida (in the dead of night) using taxpayer dollars. In an interview with the Post, Cuellar’s daughter revealed that, “My dad told me one day he was going to the airport, and then this guy came out of nowhere and was at work the next day.”
Last month, law enforcement authorities arrested Ulloa after they found him near a lake covered in blood, with a trail of blood leading to Cuellar’s body in a living room. Home security cameras found him “stabbing the victim numerous times and repeatedly hitting him with a chair,” a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office warrant said.
This horrific incident underscores the dangers of the Biden administration’s catch and release policies—policies that immediately release illegal aliens into the interior of the country, rather than placing them detention or removal, and ask them to appear in court down the road. The administration restored these policies in January and they can only be described as disastrous. Most do not end up showing up to their court hearing. Many could end up committing additional crimes such as seen in this case. Most are not tested for COVID-19 prior to release and some have still been released even after testing positive for the disease.
The administration is also not applying Title 42—the public health order that can quickly remove illegal aliens from the country during disease outbreaks—to most minors entering the country unlawfully. Even if Ulloa said he was 17 years old, this order, if applied to minors, would have removed him instantly.
The Biden administration’s catch and release policies counter what the Trump administration put in place in 2019. The Trump administration halted catch and release by creating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program in which asylum seekers were required to remain in Northern Mexico until their court date in the U.S. President Biden ended this program immediately after taking the White House and has not brought it back even after the Supreme Court ruled that it must reinstate it.
The incident additionally underscores the importance of sound vetting at the southern border. Officials should have determined that true identity of Ulloa before he entered the country. But immigration officials have been strained and overworked as they deal with border encounters that have hit all-time records. The Biden administration must find ways to reduce these totals so that immigration authorities have the bandwidth and resources to effectively determine the identities and backgrounds of those arriving at our borders.
This case highlights many components of the administration’s broken immigration system. Without immediate changes, tragic deaths like this will become the new norm.