Illegal immigrant who avoided deportation under Obama accused of killing three in DUI

An illegal immigrant whom the Obama administration declined to deport after a DUI arrest in 2016 is now accused of another DUI — and this time, authorities say, three people were killed.

Ivan Robles Navejas, 28, is accused of crossing the center stripe on the road on a highway near San Antonio on Saturday and smashing into riders from the Thin Blue Line motorcycle club. Three riders were killed and four others sent to the hospital in critical condition.

ICE says Mr. Navejas is in the country illegal and they’ve put an immigration detainer on him, meaning that if he’s released by local authorities, the feds want a crack at deporting him.

But the agency said it had Mr. Navejas in its sights back in 2016, after a previous drunken-driving arrest in Kerr County. Deportation officers came across him at the Kerr County Jail, but ICE says he “did not meet the agency’s enforcement priorities at that time.”

Under the Obama administration, most illegal immigrants were deemed low-priority cases, and officers at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were told not to bother ousting them, effectively putting them off limits barring new, serious criminal cases against them.

The Trump administration revoked those Obama-era restrictions, saying that while some cases are still higher priorities, any illegal immigrant can be a target for deportation.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Democrats’ presidential candidate, has vowed to renew the Obama-era priorities and protect most illegal immigrants, even suggesting a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people in the country without authorization.

Mr. Navejas had other encounters with the law before and after the 2016 case.

In 2013 he was charged with resisting arrest, and in 2018 charged with aggravated assault, both in Bexar County. He had been sentenced to two days on the 2013 charge and was out on a $65,000 bond while awaiting trial on the 2018 charge.

KENS-TV reported Tuesday that Mr. Navejas was accused in that case of striking a man with his Ford Ranger pickup truck, pinning the man to another vehicle. He then allegedly bit the man on the back and ear, severing part of the victim’s left ear.

The Thin Blue Line club works to support police.

The three men who died were identified as as Joseph Paglia, a retired police officer; Michael White, a retired Army lieutenant colonel; and Jerry Wayne Harbour, a former airline pilot.

In a Facebook posting the club said they went by the names GT, Psycho and Wings.

*story by The Washington Times