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Sens. Cruz, Grassley, Colleagues Probe Extensive Criminal History of Obama-Biden Era Dreamer Charged with Deaths of Four Police Motorcycle Club Members

Despite long, violent rap sheet, Mexican national never faced removal

September 3, 2020

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON. D.C. - Led by U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican senators are investigating how a Mexican national illegally in the country was never removed despite having a history of violent and illegal behavior that culminated in the deaths of four law enforcement motorcycle club members. Ivan Robles Navejas is charged with causing a head-on collision with members of the Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club in July, near Kerrville, Texas, killing four riders and injuring several others. He was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the collision, and had previously faced assault, drunk driving and resisting arrest charges dating back to 2013.

In a letter today to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Sens. Cruz and Grassley, along with Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are requesting all records related to Navejas' immigration and law enforcement encounters.

In the letter, the senators wrote:

"This is not the first time that Mr. Navejas has been accused of committing crimes within our communities. He has faced previous charges including resisting arrest in 2013, driving while intoxicated in 2016, and, most concerning of all, aggravated assault in 2018. We are disturbed by the fact that, despite these egregious charges, Mr. Navejas has been permitted to continue residing in the United States, further endangering our citizens."

They continued:

"As is so often the case, this tragedy was completely avoidable had this nation's immigration laws been enforced as they should have been during the Obama administration."

Navejas benefitted from several Obama-Biden administration-era policies that shielded him from deportation despite his illegal entry and multiple run-ins with law enforcement. He was granted deferred deportation status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2013, the same year that he was charged with resisting arrest. Though that status later expired, he was allowed to remain in the country following drunk driving charges in 2016 because the Obama-Biden administration's Priority Enforcement Program did not consider an arrest for drunk driving offenses to warrant deportation. Despite these encounters, Navejas was still able to receive conditional permanent resident status, which shielded him from removal following 2018 assault charges in which he allegedly pinned a victim with his car and bit off a portion of the victim's ear.

Read the full text of the senators' letter to ICE and USCIS here.

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