A federal judge has sentenced a Dominican national to nine months of incarceration followed by deportation for illegally entering the country despite already being removed from the U.S. on two previous occasions.
On Friday, The Department of Justice announced that Reynaldo Mejia-Mejia, 33, was arrested this past March after attempting to board an airplane in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, heading to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mejia-Mejia used a fraudulent Washington state driver’s license and provided authorities with a phony name. After a fingerprint scan, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol determined that the individual had been deported from America in 2018 and 2019 and is a citizen of the Dominican Republic.
U.S. District Judge Wilma Lewis also sentenced the foreign national to one year of supervised release following his prison sentence. He was ordered not to re-enter the country without first obtaining the permission of the Attorney General or Department of Homeland Security.
The sentencing comes in the middle of one of the worst illegal immigration crises ever.
In June, it was reported that President Joe Biden had released at least 1.05 million illegal aliens into the U.S. since taking office. That number does not include more than 800,000 illegal aliens who evaded immigration officials entirely.
“Over 800,000 illegal immigrants have escaped into the U.S. since Biden took office,” Republican National Committee rapid response director Tommy Pigott tweeted Monday.
Over 800,000 illegal immigrants have escaped into the U.S. since Biden took office. pic.twitter.com/Ahws4Xv9vm
— Tommy Pigott (@TommyPigott) July 25, 2022
Last Tuesday, a previously deported illegal alien also pleaded guilty to charges including identity theft and benefits fraud in part relating to aid given during the COVID pandemic.
Pedro Hernandez-Romero, a Mexican national, pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to using an American citizen’s identity and social security number after illegally re-entering the United States after deportation. According to WBRE, Hernandez-Romero received around $26,000 in Pennsylvania Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits as part of its state COVID relief program.
To help manage the influx of illegal aliens, the Biden administration has given some migrants taxpayer-funded smartphones to help track their movement.
In April, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki argued that the free items were “all part of our effort, as individuals come into the United States and individuals who are entering who will proceed to immigration proceedings, to monitor and track where they are.”
Recently, it was also reported that the Biden administration intends to offer some illegal immigrants a temporary ID card that could eventually be used for travel on domestic airlines.
The program, titled the “ICE Secure Docket Card program,” is funded by the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill, which states, “$10,000,000 for the ICE Secure Docket Card program to allow noncitizens access to immigration files and documents.”
The card will ostensibly be offered to illegal immigrants awaiting the final decision on their status, two government sources told Axios, which added that the Biden administration wants Congressional approval before October to forestall a possible blockage of the program if Republicans take back the House in November.
The card will include the illegal immigrant’s name, nationality, and a QR code.
“Specifics of the program are still under development, but a primary goal of the SDC is to improve current, inconsistent paper forms that often degrade rapidly in real world use. Pending the outcome of the pilot, ICE will consider further expansion,” a spokesperson for ICE told CNN.
Hank Berrien contributed to this report.