Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, blew a gasket this past week when he learned that The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended “Executive Amnesty” to an illegal alien last year that officials knew was under investigation for child molestation.
The illegal alien, Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla, was arrested on May 7 and charged with four felonies including child molestation and the distribution of child pornography.
Besides the recovery of 600 child porn images from his computer, Covarrubias-Padilla was accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy. Authorities believe he was involved in the production of child pornography as well.
At the time of his arrest, Covarrubias-Padilla was working as a California camp counselor known to kids at the camp as “Papa Bear”. DHS knew local authorities were investigating Covarrubias-Padilla on child molestation and child pornography charges but did nothing about it prompting Sen. Grassley to fire off a letter full of question to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson this past week.
Grassley sent the letter after the Santa Clara County Office of Education told Grassley’s office that it had received over 100 phone calls and 50 emails from parents concerned that their child may have been victimized.
In his letter to Johnson, Grassley said it took whistleblowers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – an agency within DHS – to inform him that federal authorities knew as early as mid-November that Covarrubias-Padilla was under investigation for child sex abuse charges and that DHS did nothing about his immigration status until his recent arrest.
The whistleblowers claim that on Oct. 8, 2012, Covarrubias-Padilla applied for amnesty protection under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. His “Executive Amnesty” status and work eligibility were in effect through the end of May at which point he could re-apply under the president’s program.
In his letter to Secretary Johnson, Grassley wrote:
“These allegations are deeply troubling because, if true, they suggest that DHS was aware for months or years that Mr. Covarrubias-Padilla posed a public safety threat to the children he was monitoring, yet took no action to revoke his DACA authorization…”
“These allegations are particularly alarming because they suggest that Mr. Covarrubias-Padilla would not have been placed in a position to abuse and exploit children had DHS properly vetted DACA recipients…”
Grassley recently complained about other cases involving felonious “Executive Amnesty” recipients including the failure of DHS to defer the deportation of Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez. Rangel-Hernandez applied for amnesty in February 2013 and was approved even though U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) knew he had gang-affiliations.
In his latest letter to Johnson, Grassley asked 11 questions about Covarrubias-Padilla’s DACA application, immigration status, and known criminal history. Secretary Johnson has until May 29 to respond.
In particular, Grassley wants to know how ICE and USCIS coordinated and shared information about Covarrubias-Padilla. Grassley writes:
“Did USCIS know or have reason to know that ICE was investigating Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla in connection to crimes involving either possession or distribution of child pornography or child exploitation, including molestation?”
“If Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla was under investigation by ICE, please provide the procedures in place for when, and in what manner, ICE would have notified USCIS.”
In a statement about the case posted on Senator Grassley’s official Senate website, Grassley concludes his comments about the case up until now this way.
“A number of recent cases involving recipients of deferred (deportation) action who were subsequently charged with serious crimes have raised questions about how applicants are vetted.”
“The Covarrubias-Padilla case raises more questions about how the Department of Homeland Security addresses cases involving alleged criminal activity that occurs after a deferred action application is approved.”
Whether or not DHS Secretary Johnson answers Grassley’s questions about deferred deportation raised in the letter and does so by Grassley’s deadline remains to be seen. For now, it appears that the American people will continue to suffer the repercussions of the president’s illegal “Executive Amnesty” and the criminal aliens it condones.