New Willie Hortons? Migrants charged with rape, murder after illegally entering U.S.

Newt Gingrich raised concern over criminal illegal immigrants this summer, writing for The Washington Times that some of those entering the U.S. illegally "have gang connections, including members of the famous MS-13 El Salvadorian gang."

Updated: November 22, 2021 - 1:23am

Over 30 years ago, the notorious "Willie Horton ad," a hard-hitting negative political ad dramatizing the case of a convicted murderer serving a life sentence who committed violent crimes while on furlough, sank Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis' campaign against then-Vice President George H. W. Bush. Amid a surge in arrests of criminal noncitizens, those committing crimes in the U.S. after having entered illegally may be the new Willie Hortons.

Newt Gingrich raised concern over criminal illegal immigrants this summer, writing for The Washington Times that some of those entering the U.S. illegally "have gang connections, including members of the famous MS-13 El Salvadorian gang." He added that "74 percent of the MS-13 defendants in custody were here illegally," according to a 2020 Department of Justice report.

Several examples of the rising number of criminal noncitizen arrest follow:

  • Between June 4 and July 26, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) arrested 302 illegal immigrant sex offenders as part of Operation SOAR (Sex Offender Arrest and Removal). 
  • On Oct. 7, a 24-year-old Honduran illegal immigrant stabbed to death the father of a family in Florida that he was staying with after entering the country by claiming he was a 17-year-old. 
  • On Oct. 23, 32-year-old Ernesto Lopez Morales, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, was arrested after a hit-and-run that killed a 5-year-old girl. Morales, who tested over the legal limit for blood alcohol content, told deputies he had drunk 6 32-ounce beers at home before going out to to buy more. He admitted to driving without his headlights on and fleeing the scene of the crash because he had neither insurance nor a driver's license, according to the sheriff's office. 
  • In March, 13 people were killed in a highway crash when 25 were crammed into a Ford Expedition and it was struck by a tractor-trailer. Ten of the 13 killed were Mexican citizens. Another SUV with 19 people in it entered the U.S. through the same hole in the border fence and caught fire. Everyone escaped, and they were arrested by Border Patrol. 
  • On Oct. 13, a 35-year-old man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fiston Ngoy, allegedly raped a woman on a Philadelphia SEPTA train in front of other passengers. He entered the U.S. legally in 2012 on a student visa, but it was terminated in 2015 when he was no longer a student. In 2017, he pled guilty to a sexual abuse misdemeanor in Washington, D.C. and was sentenced to 120 days in prison and nine months' probation. Ngoy was placed in immigration detention in Jan. 2018 but not deported after an immigration judge in March 2019 withheld his removal, following a Board of Immigration Appeals finding that his misdemeanor sex offense was not a "serious crime" that would make him ineligible for such protection. 
  • Illegal immigrant Edgard Antonio Gutierrez-Martinez was arrested on Oct. 4 for felony convictions for first-degree child rape and incest
  • In June, Bruno Sanches De Jesus, a 20-year-old who overstayed a 90-day waiver of his visa two years ago after arriving in the U.S. from Portugal via Cape Verde, was charged with two counts of rape after allegedly sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman on a Martha's Vineyard ferry.

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