Witchita, KS - Tomas Martinez-Maldonado has been charged with raping a 13-year-old child on a Greyhound bus as it traveled through Kansas in September, and it's now revealed that this illegal immigrant had a long history of being deported.
According to news sources, Martinez-Maldonado has been deported 10 times and voluntarily removed 9 times since 2003. On December 09, 2016, three U.S. Republican Senators, Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts from Kansas, and Charles Grassley from Iowa, co-signed a letter to Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security Director. In the letter, they demanded the Department of Homeland Security provide immigration records for Martinez-Maldonado, who is currently in jail on the felony charge in the Geary County Jail in Junction City. Sen. Grassley is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
In the letter, the Senators called the incident "deeply disturbing" and questioned how Martinez-Maldonado was able to re-enter and remain in the country. A detainer has been placed by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Martinez-Maldonado with Geary County. The detainer is a request to turn Martinez-Maldonado over to the custody of ICE before he is released. ICE would not discuss Martinez-Maldonado's case with a news source other than to confirm the 10 deportations.
Martinez-Maldonado's criminal history shows two misdemeanor convictions for entering the country without legal permission in 2013 and 2015, from the U.S. federal court in Arizona. He was sentenced to prison for 60 days for the 2013 conviction and 165 days for the 2015 conviction. A hearing in the rape case is set for January 10, 2017.
Fifty-two percent of all federal prosecutions throughout the nation in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2016, were for entry or re-entry without permission and similar immigration violations, according to Syracuse University statistics. Martinez-Maldonado's defense attorney would not comment on his client's case or previous criminal history except to say that "(President-elect Donald Trump) can build a wall 100 feet high and 50 feet deep, but it is not going to keep family members separated. So if someone is deported and they have family members here, ... they will find a way back — whether it is through the air, under a wall, through the coast of the United States,"
Records show that Martinez-Maldonado had eight voluntary removals before his first deportation in 2010. Another voluntary removal occurred later in 2010. He was then deported five more times between 2011 and 2013. Martinez-Maldonado was deported in 2014 after serving his 2013 sentence. He was deported a second time in 2014 and twice in 2015, with the last 2015 deportation occurring after he served time.
Records also show that Prosecutors in Arizona twice dismissed felony re-entry after deportation charges against Martinez-Maldonado in 2013 and 2015 in exchange for guilty pleas on misdemeanor charges. The spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona, Cosme Lopez, declined to comment on the above plea bargains. The state of Arizona ranks third in the nation for the number of immigration prosecutions among the country's 94 federal judicial districts for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2016.
Sen. Moran told a news source that the immigration system is "broken." He also said "There must be serious legislative efforts to address U.S. immigration policy, and we must have the ability to identify, prosecute and deport illegal aliens who display violent tendencies before they have an opportunity to perpetrate these crimes in the United States."
There is an appropriate procedure for immigration and citizenship that has been in place for many years. It is entirely unjustifiable for an illegal immigrant to be able to enter this country and remain at will. It is also unjustifiable for the same illegal immigrant to be removed from this country multiple times and still re-enter with only a slap on the wrist. If the law had worked, and the system wasn't broken, perhaps this felony rape might not have happened. However, it did. And now, something must change.
First, Martinez-Maldonado must be brought to justice. If he is found guilty, since he obviously loves this country, let him be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Second, something needs to change with our laws and our criminal justice system so that no one can be deported ten times and voluntarily removed nine times and still return.
What are your thoughts on the immigration system? Please let us know in the comments below.