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House Report: Biden’s DHS Freed Jocelyn Nungaray’s Accused Killers into U.S. Despite Available ICE Detention Space

  When two illegal aliens, now accused of murdering 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray, were released into the United States, the Department of Ho...

 When two illegal aliens, now accused of murdering 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray, were released into the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had available detention space to keep them detained, a report from Chairman Mark Green’s (R-TN) Homeland Security Committee states.

According to Harris County, Texas, prosecutors, Venezuelan illegal aliens 22-year-old Johan Jose Martinez-Rangel and 26-year-old Franklin Pena murdered 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray on June 17.

Jocelyn Nungaray

Jocelyn Nungaray

Martinez-Rangel was apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border near El Paso, Texas, on March 14. That same day, he was released into the U.S. interior on an order of recognizance with a Notice to Appear (NTA) before a federal immigration judge.

As the committee report notes, federal data shows that four days before Martinez-Rangel’s release from DHS custody, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency had about 2,500 detention beds available of its 41,500 total beds.

On May 28, Pena was apprehended at the border near El Paso. That day, he was released into the U.S. interior on an order of recognizance with an NTA to appear before a federal immigration judge.

Likewise, data shows that when the DHS released Pena from its custody, about 5,000 ICE detention beds were available for use.

RJ Hauman, president of the National Immigration Center for Enforcement (NICE) and a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told Breitbart News that under President Joe Biden and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, “every form of detention has been quietly morphed into a catch and release cog.”

A similar scenario occurred in the case of 22-year-old Laken Riley, who was murdered in February in Athens, Georgia, allegedly at the hands of Venezuelan illegal alien Jose Antonio Ibarra.

Ibarra crossed the border in September 2022 near El Paso and was released into the U.S. interior. At the time, the DHS had about 8,100 ICE detention beds available. Mayorkas justified not keeping Ibarra in detention because there was “no derogatory information” on him at the time.

Reports have indicated that Martinez-Rangel and Pena, at the time of their releases, were enrolled in the federal government’s Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program and made to wear GPS-tracked ankle monitors. Only weeks after being placed on ATD, though, DHS officials removed both from the program.

“Not only do Biden and Mayorkas refuse to fill all ICE detention beds provided by Congress, they don’t properly use alternative forms,” Hauman said. “GPS monitoring has plummeted, and many illegal aliens, like these murderers, are often quickly unenrolled.”

Currently, two pieces of legislation are sitting in the House and Senate that would address the DHS’s insistence on mass releasing migrants into American communities.

In May, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) introduced the “Reshape ATD Act” to require the DHS to use all available ICE detention space to detain migrants. Only once all detention space is utilized could the DHS place migrants on ATD. Those migrants would then have to be GPS-monitored for the entirety of their court proceedings.

Similarly, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) has introduced the “Accountability Through Deportation Act” to permit federal immigration judges to order the deportation of migrants who violate the terms of their release from DHS custody.

Coinciding with Jocelyn’s murder is the Biden administration’s massive inflation of ICE’s non-detained docket — those migrants known to the DHS but who are not in federal custody, instead living freely throughout the U.S.

Today, some 7.4 million migrants are on ICE’s non-detained docket — exceeding two years of American births. Until Jocelyn’s murder, Martinez-Rangel and Pena were among the millions on the docket. At the current pace, more than 8.5 million migrants could be on the docket by the end of 2024.

“Biden and Mayorkas need to explain why single adult males from gang havens aren’t in custodial detention or promptly removed,” Hauman said. “Without reforms, tragedies like this will continue to happen.”

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