Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has called on Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for information regarding the immigration status of an illegal immigrant from Nicaragua involved in a drunk driving incident that injured a police officer in Virginia.
In a letter dated Sept. 11, Mr. Gaetz raised concerns about an incident that occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 19 in Chesapeake, Virginia. According to the letter, Yacarely Diaz-Castro, an illegal immigrant, collided with a Chesapeake police officer during a traffic stop while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.
The impact sent the officer over a guardrail, resulting in severe injuries, including a fractured skull and a C6 vertebrae fracture, per court filings. The officer’s injuries are said to potentially lead to a lifetime of physical impairment, Mr. Gaetz noted.
The 30-year-old illegal immigrant was charged with DUI maiming, driving without a license, and failing to move over for a stationary vehicle with warning lights. She appeared before a judge in August.
Officers found empty beer cans in her vehicle, and she failed multiple sobriety tests and reeked of alcohol. She had no driver’s license.
“Diaz-Castro was known to your Department,” Mr. Gaetz wrote (pdf). “She is from Nicaragua and entered the United States illegally seven months ago, and she allegedly claims to have received a ‘Notice to Report’ Form I-385.”
This “notice to report” form instructs recipients to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within 60 days.
The Florida Republican’s letter contained seven specific questions for Mr. Mayorkas, with a request for a response by Oct. 2.
These questions included inquiries about Ms. Diaz-Castro’s immigration status on Aug. 19, the date of her unlawful entry into the United States, the receipt of a “notice to report,” any contact with ICE, and the number of illegal immigrants who have failed to comply with similar notices, among other matters.
Mr. Gaetz’s letter also asked for information regarding the steps being taken by the Department of Homeland Security to ensure the swift removal of illegal immigrants who do not comply with their “notices to report” and the number of law enforcement and first responders who have been injured by illegal immigrants in the past two years.
Nearly 2 million individuals who have crossed the border into the United States unlawfully have been funneled into American communities via President Joe Biden’s parole pipeline.
Notably, in February, it came to light that the Department of Homeland Security had issued notices to report (NTR) to approximately 600,000 border crossers, including Ms. Diaz-Castro. These NTRs effectively led to their release into the United States’ interior, without any subsequent obligation to appear before an immigration judge.
The Biden administration’s parole program allows tens of thousands of individuals to be released into the United States every month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
Texas leads a coalition of 21 states aiming to halt the program, asserting that the Biden administration’s policy amounts to executive overreach and should be terminated.
In legal filings, Texas and its counterparts have described the administration’s program as an “extreme example” of non-compliance with immigration laws mandating parole be granted strictly on a case-by-case basis for substantial public benefit or urgent humanitarian grounds.
Texas has further contended that the parole program places a financial burden on the state, necessitating the provision of services such as detention, education, social support, and driver’s license programs to those paroled.
On the other side, immigrant rights groups argue that the humanitarian parole program offers a safe pathway to the United States for desperate migrants who would otherwise fall prey to human traffickers and hinder border enforcement efforts.
Savannah Hulsey Pointer contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times