With Biden Easing Immigration Enforcement for Drunk Drivers, Other Violent Criminals, Ernst Leads Senate in Denouncing the Plan
Biden’s plan could allow more violent criminals like Iowan Sarah Root’s killer to escape justice
Feb 24 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is leading a Senate resolution denouncing the Biden Administration’s plan to ease immigration enforcement priorities for those charged with drunk driving and violent crimes, a move that could allow more violent criminals like Iowan Sarah Root’s killer to escape justice.
“Iowan Sarah Root was killed by a drunk driver who was here illegally, was released, and never faced justice,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “Ever since, Sarah’s family has felt the enormous and unimaginable pain of the loss of their daughter. No family should ever have to go through what Sarah’s mother, Michelle, and others have gone through. The Biden Administration’s reckless plan to roll back these common sense immigration enforcement policies is unconscionable and I’m afraid could lead to more tragedies for families across our country.”
In January 2016, Iowan Sarah Root was struck and killed by an illegal immigrant, Edwin Mejia, who was driving drunk. Mejia was released by federal law enforcement due to a loophole in the law and never faced justice.
The Biden Administration’s new plan would, in part, direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to cease prioritizing deportations for illegal immigrants convicted of drunk driving and some assaultive offenses. Ernst, along with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) introduced the Senate resolution today calling for immigration enforcement agencies to continue prioritizing deporting illegal immigrants charged with drunk driving and violent crimes.
Earlier this year, Ernst reintroduced her bill, called Sarah’s Law—named after Sarah Root—which requires federal law enforcement to detain illegal immigrants criminally charged with killing or seriously injuring another person. In just his first week in office, President Biden reversed the Trump Administration’s executive order that included parts of Sarah’s Law.