A deadly accident in Nebraska was a topic of discussion at the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing in Washington D.C. earlier this week. In January, 19 year old Eswin Mejia was arrested after an accident that claimed the life of Sarah Root of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Police say Mejia was intoxicated and street racing when he it Root’s vehicle. Mejia was an illegal immigrant from Honduras and Omaha police contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a detainer to be issued so he couldn’t bond out of jail. That attempt failed and Mejia posted bond and hasn’t been seen since.
Nebraska U-S Senator Ben Sasse questioned ICE Director Sarah Saldana about this incident on Tuesday. Senator Sasse said due to Mejia’s immigration status Omaha police requested a detainer but ICE refused stating that would not be consistent with the president’s executive actions. Senator Sasse stated ICE’s public statement in this case stated Mejia did not meet ICE’s enforcement priorities
Saldana stated, “I understood you to say we told local law enforcement we were ot going to do anything about him because he didn’t meet our priorities. That is a statement of fact in one person’s interpretation. Quite frankly, sir, it is very easy to look back and say that person’s judgement was incorrect. I have some concerns about that. Every situation we have that results in something as horrific as this we always try to learn from it. I’ll be following up and looking at the specific individuals involved, how the judgement was formed and why that was done.”
Saldana says ICE did act but there was a matter of hours between the time they were contacted about the detainer and Mejia’s release. She says it is very hard to get to every inquiry made by law enforcement within that amount of time. Saldana stated she would formally respond to a letter sent to her by Senator Sasse by the end of next week.