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Horowitz: Illegal alien with at least three prior arrests accused of raping 82-year-old Florida woman

Op-ed
Marvin Ailon-Mendoza (Image source: Video screenshot)

It was the ultimate failure of our government to keep its most vulnerable citizens safe. An 82-year-old woman woke up at 3 a.m. on May 12 in her Martin County, Florida, home by a man who tied her up and raped her for 45 minutes. It turns out that individual came to this country illegally in 2016. Yet, despite at least three other arrests, he was never deported. In other words, this alleged attack was 100% preventable. These stories happen every day. THIS is the broken aspect of our immigration system that is never discussed.

Marvin Ailon-Mendoza, 20, appeared in court last Wednesday with an interpreter when he had his bail set at $520,000 for charges of sexual battery by great force, burglary of a dwelling with assault or battery while masked, and false imprisonment while masked.

According to Martin County Sherriff William Snyder, Mendoza is an illegal alien who came here as an "unaccompanied minor" in 2016 along with many other volatile Guatemalan teens. He had been arrested for several offenses while he was a minor, and then as an adult, was arrested for grand theft and battery. He was arrested again in 2019 for exposing himself at a park in front of children. He wound up serving 100 days in jail, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) never picked him up to ensure he'd be removed from the country.

The sheriff's office told me that the battery charge was for an arrest stemming from domestic violence incident when he allegedly choked a woman until she was nearly unconscious. There was also a probation violation as well. I was also told that the 82-year-old woman suffered significant physical trauma during the sexual assault.

The million-dollar question is how can an illegal alien with such a criminal record not be deported? We face a criminal justice crisis in this country with domestic criminals who constantly reoffend and revolve in and out of jail. But foreign nationals can and should easily be deported upon the first sign of trouble. Sheriff Snyder contends that his county always reports illegal aliens to federal immigration officials and it was the feds who dropped the ball. According to the sheriff, his office has documentation from the jail records system that shows ICE was notified when Mendoza was arrested.

The facts of the case are still unclear, but even under the Trump administration, the feds were extremely lenient on minors who committed offenses, so it's unfortunately not surprising that he would have remained in the country after he racked up charges as a juvenile. What is shocking, however, is how he was released onto the streets after serving 100 days for indecent exposure. Even if he somehow finagled legal status in the ensuing years since he came, those charges would have been grounds for an ICE hold.

In recent days, ICE announced the complete suspension of deportations for criminals below a pretty significant threshold. Overall, interior removals are down about 85%, dipping below 3,000 a month, down from about 22,000 a month in FY 2019. It's truly shocking to imagine the number of violent criminals from other countries who are remaining in this country to senselessly victimize Americans.

For example, just among the relatively small number of illegal alien criminals ICE arrested in FY 2019, they had a cumulative tally of:

  • More than 1,900 convictions and charges for homicide;
  • More than 1,800 convictions and charges for kidnapping;
  • More than 12,000 sex offenses, with more than 5,000 convictions and charges for sexual assault;
  • More than 45,000 convictions and charges for assault;
  • More than 67,000 convictions and charges for crimes involving drugs;
  • More than 10,000 convictions and charges for weapons offenses; and
  • More than 74,000 convictions and charges for Driving Under the Influence.

Remember, ICE has only 5,000 deportation officers (one-fourth of the size of the NYPD) for the millions of criminals aliens, so they often miss a lot of detainers, as was observed with Mendoza. Now, imagine an 85% decline in detainers and you can count the thousands upon thousands of people who will needlessly be victimized by other country's criminals remaining in America.

Just how badly do some government officials not want the public to know about the extent of the criminal alien crisis? When I asked some specific questions about Mendoza's immigration history, the sheriff's office told me that "immigration representatives told our records section that we are prohibited from releasing his immigration status." While the office is "researching the legality of that directive," it appears that this order is extremely novel. I have written about criminal alien cases for years, and throughout the Trump administration, DHS officials would give me information on immigration status except if the individual was a refugee or currently under 18 years old. The notion that even local law enforcement couldn't give out information on an adult illegal alien is unfounded in statute, according to former senior DHS officials I spoke to.

It's also peculiar that at a time when government is forcing people to disclose their medical conditions and whether they had a vaccine in order to breathe without a mask, they seem concerned about the privacy of illegal alien sex offenders. Throughout the past year we have heard that state governments have "the police power" to essentially nullify bodily integrity under the guise of protecting public health. Yet, somehow states lack the authority to take action against other countries' violent criminals under the guise of public safety.

"The federal government, and all government for that matter, have a singularly paramount obligation, and that is to protect their constituents," lamented Sheriff Snyder. "This case is a tragic illustration of how our government is failing in its number one priority."

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