Suspected Murderers of Border Agent Had Been Previously Deported

Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 03:17 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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The two Mexican nationals suspected in the August 3 murder of Border Patrol agent Javier Vega, Jr. had been arrested and deported several times before, Fox News reports.

On Tuesday, 40-year-old Ismael Hernandez and 30-year-old Gustavo, who were living illegally in Texas, were arraigned on charges of capital murder of a police officer, attempted murder and other lesser charges inside the Willacy County jail library. Both men were denied bail.

According to Action 4 News in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, Hernandez spoke to the judge during the arraignment in Spanish and denied any involvement in the murder.

"I don't know why I am being charged with so many things," Hernandez he told Judge George Solis after the chargers were read. 

Hernandez has been deported twice for entering the U.S. illegally, according to Fox News.

On the evening of August 3, Vega had been fishing with his family when the suspects attempted to rob the family. After the suspects saw that Vega was armed, they proceeded to open fire and the agent was fatally wounded in the chest. 

Authorities told Action 4 News, the two men are from Matamoros and were in the U.S. illegally. Court records found that Tijerina had previous arrests for driving while intoxicated, unlawfully carrying a weapon, domestic violence and felony marijuana possession dating as far back as 2007.

A newly-released Pew Research Center report illustrates the problem of illegal immigrants re-entering the U.S. after being deported. 

Using data obtained from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pew analysts found that 76 percent of the unaccompanied minors had been detained multiple times, including 15 percent who had been apprehended at least six times.

The presence of illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds is a concern among a number of legislators, including Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.

On July 10, Kirk sent letters to the U.S. Ambassadors to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to inquire if their respective embassies had performed criminal background checks on the 57,000 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) who have illegally crossed into the U.S. since October. 

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