Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director Sarah Saldana seemed sincere as she expressed regret at her agency’s inaction, but it was a sentiment expressed too late for the family of 21-year-old Sarah Root. Eswin Mejia, an illegal immigrant who had previously been arrested for drunk driving, offended again in late January. This time he caused a collision which took the life of Root. In the video embedded below, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska questions Saldana about her agency’s refusal to detain Mejia after he posted bail.
Sen. Sasse: … Prior to [the illegal] being released from jail, however, local police contacted ICE and requested that he be detained because of his immigration status. ICE, however, refused and said that would not be consistent with the president’s immigration executive actions. Mejia was released and disappeared. Do you think someone who street races while driving drunk and kills another person is a threat to public safety?
Director Saldana: Yes.
Sasse: If an illegal alien kills an American citizen, should ICE let that person go free?
From there the interaction broke down into the typical rhetorical dance characteristic of legislative hearings. Saldana at first disputed whether Sasse had accurate information, but eventually conceded that a terrible oversight had taken place. “I intend to learn from this particular incident,” she concluded.