(CNSNews.com) -- An illegal alien and known gang member who has been charged with first-degree murder in North Carolina was granted deferred deportation under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), despite having been placed in removal proceedings for drug charges in 2012, according to a press release from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez, 19, was charged in February with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of three people in Charlotte, N.C, including a 19-year-old former America’s Next Top Model contestant, Mirjana Puhar, the Associated Press reported.
According to an arrest affidavit from March 30, 2012, Rangel-Hernandez had been previously charged with possession of marijuana. But a court order dated Dec. 18, 2013 shows U.S. Immigration Judge Theresa Holmes-Simmons granted deferred action under DACA to Rangel-Hernandez, who had been in removal proceedings since his drug charge.
“Records indicate Rangel-Hernandez was placed in the removal process by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) following drug charges in March 2012, but removal proceedings were dismissed on December 18, 2013, because he was approved for deferred action under DACA,” Grassley and Tillis stated in the press release.
“Whistleblowers allege that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted Rangel-Hernandez’s DACA application despite knowledge that he was a gang member,” Grassley and Tillis added.
According to the press release, Grassley and Tillis sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson in February asking whether Rangel-Hernandez had received deferred action under DACA after being charged with drug crimes in 2012, but never received a response.
Grassley and Tillis sent a second letter to Johnson demanding more information on the Department of Homeland Security’s policies concerning DACA benefits for known gang members, with a deadline of March 31.
According to a recent report from ICE, there were 167,527 known criminal aliens currently loose in the United States as of January 26.
The president's executive-ordered DACA program currently provides deferred deportation to millions of qualifying illegal aliens who were brought to the United States as children. If a recent federal court injunction is lifted and Obama’s additional executive immigration programs are implemented, the DACA program will be expanded to even more illegal aliens who will receive a renewable three-year participation timeline rather than the current two-year reprieve.
President Obama’s new amnesty program will also include Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents (DAPA), which will grant deferred action to as many as 5 million illegal aliens while granting them the right to work, Social Security numbers and benefits and retroactive tax credits.