Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is calling on Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to provide information regarding the immigration status of an illegal immigrant from Nicaragua who was involved in a drunk driving incident that injured a police officer in Virginia. The incident occurred in the early hours of August 19 in Chesapeake, Virginia, when Yacarely Diaz-Castro, an illegal immigrant, collided with a police officer during a traffic stop while allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
According to court filings, the impact of the collision resulted in severe injuries for the officer, including a fractured skull and vertebral fracture. These injuries may potentially lead to a lifetime of physical impairment for the officer. Diaz-Castro, who is 30 years old, has been charged with DUI maiming, driving without a license, and failing to move over for a stationary vehicle with warning lights.
In a letter dated September 11, Congressman Gaetz expressed his concerns about the incident and urged Secretary Mayorkas to provide information regarding Diaz-Castro’s immigration status at the time of the incident, the date of her unlawful entry into the United States, any contact with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as the number of illegal immigrants who have failed to comply with similar notices to report. The Congressman also requested information on the steps being taken by the Department of Homeland Security to ensure the swift removal of illegal immigrants who do not comply with these notices.
The incident involving Diaz-Castro has brought attention to the parole program implemented by President Joe Biden’s administration. Under this program, nearly 2 million individuals who have crossed the border unlawfully have been released into American communities without any obligation to appear before an immigration judge. In February, it was revealed that notices to report were issued to approximately 600,000 border crossers, including Diaz-Castro, resulting in their release into the United States without further action.
Texas, along with 21 other states, is leading a coalition to challenge the parole program, arguing that it constitutes executive overreach and should be terminated. They contend that the program places a financial burden on the state, requiring the provision of various services to those paroled.
On the other hand, immigrant rights groups argue that the parole program provides a safe pathway to the United States for desperate migrants who would otherwise be vulnerable to human traffickers. They claim that the program also aids border enforcement efforts.
With Congressman Gaetz’s letter to Secretary Mayorkas, the focus is now on obtaining information about the immigration status of Diaz-Castro and addressing concerns about the parole program. As this situation unfolds, it remains to be seen what steps will be taken by the Department of Homeland Security and whether any changes will be made to the parole program in question.