WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee
Chairman Chuck Grassley asked for information about the criminal and
immigration history of Constantino Banda-Acosta, and how the new Attorney
General’s guidelines for immigration offenses may impact him. Banda-Acosta,
residing in the United States illegally and having previously been deported 15
times for various crimes such as domestic violence and DUI, reportedly
committed a hit-and-run while driving drunk nearly killing a 6-year-old child
“This is yet another harrowing
example of why immigration enforcement is critical to the rule of law and
safety of American citizens. When someone is able to re-enter the country after
being removed 15 times and puts the life of a child in jeopardy, it should be a
wakeup call to all of us that border security and enforcement of our laws must
be a priority to ensure safety and justice in America,” Grassley said.
In his letter
to Homeland Security Secretary
John Kelly, Grassley requested a variety of information about the immigration
history and criminal history of Banda-Acosta as well as any immigration
benefits he may have sought.
Further, Grassley asked about
how the Trump administration’s new policies may affect this case, including
prioritization for removal under the executive order ‘Enhancing Public
Safety in the Interior of the United States,’ felony referrals under the
Attorney General’s new immigration offense guidelines and communications
with victims of Banda-Acosta’s crimes through the new VOICE office at the
The Senate Judiciary Committee
has jurisdiction over the nation’s immigration laws. As chairman of the
committee, Grassley frequently engages in oversight to ensure these laws are
enforced properly. He has also supported
the establishment of the new
VOICE office, among other administration efforts on immigration matters.
Following the death of Iowan Sarah Root, who was killed after being struck by a
drunk driver who was illegally in the country, Grassley introduced legislation
stepping up penalties for
individuals who violate the immigration laws and go on to commit crimes that
seriously injure or kill others.
The Honorable John Kelly
U.S. Department of Homeland
Washington, D.C. 20528
Dear Secretary Kelly:
I write to request information
on Constantino Banda-Acosta, a 38-year-old criminal undocumented immigrant
residing in California, who has been deported back to Mexico a shocking 15
times for various offenses. According to reports, Banda-Acosta almost killed a
6-year-old child in San Diego in a drunk-driving, hit-and-run car accident on
May 9, 2017. The child was found unconscious, bleeding from several head
wounds, and not breathing. Banda-Acosta has an alleged history of criminal
activity, including a 2006 arrest for driving under the influence
and a case for
perpetrating domestic violence against his wife in 2007.
He now faces felony charges for drunk
driving resulting in injury as well as driving without a valid license and
fleeing the scene of the accident.
According to reports from U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Banda-Acosta was first deported back
to Mexico in November 2002, but re-entered and was deported at least 14
additional times over the past 12 years—most recently in January 2017.
reported that he was back at their California home 10 days after his January
10, 2017 deportation. At this time, it is unclear whether Banda-Acosta will be
prosecuted for repeated unlawful reentry into the United States. ICE has lodged
a detainer against him, and released a statement referencing their plan to
“pursue additional immigration enforcement action and/or criminal prosecution”
if and when local authorities release him.
understand Banda-Acosta’s immigration and criminal history, please provide my
Committee staff with the following information as soon as possible, but not
later than June 8, 2017.
1. The alien
registration number for Banda-Acosta, his complete alien file (A-file),
including temporary files or working files, and all documents and items
contained in them that were generated by the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) or in their possession about him, the Enforcement and Removal Operations
(ERO) Executive Summary, criminal history and immigration summaries, detainers
or requests for notification, I-213(s), and Notice(s) to Appear or other
charging documents created to seek his removal from the United States.
identify each date on which Banda-Acosta was arrested by a law enforcement
agency in the United States, including criminal and civil arrests, the nature
of the charges, the jurisdictions where the arrests occurred, the dispositions
of the charges, the dates on which he was released from the custody of the law
enforcement agencies, and the reasons for the release.
identify and explain each encounter that DHS or any of its agencies has had
with Banda-Acosta, including the date of the encounter, whether the encounter
resulted in detention or the issuance of a detainer or request for
notification, whether the encounter resulted in the initiation of removal
proceedings or reinstatement of a prior removal order against him, and the
current status of those removal proceedings or reinstatement.
Banda-Acosta’s wife reported that he had returned to their California home just
10 days after his January 2017 deportation. Did ICE have knowledge of his
return? Please detail any actions ICE took in response to this report.
Banda-Acosta ever apply for any immigration benefit? If so, was any application
approved? Please provide copies of any applications that he may have submitted,
whether or not adjudicated.
Banda-Acosta be a priority for deportation under President Trump’s executive
order entitled Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United Sates now
that he has been charged with a second DUI and found to have illegally entered
the United States multiple times?
7. The new
Attorney General’s Office guidelines for immigration offenses requires repeat
illegal reentry offenders be referred for felony prosecution. Has Constantino
Banda-Acosta been referred for felony illegal reentry prosecution? Please
8. On January
25, 2017, President Trump called on DHS to establish the Victims of Immigration
Crime Engagement Office (VOICE) to provide assistance to victims of crimes
committed by undocumented immigrants. Have any victims associated with the
crimes committed by Banda-Acosta been contacted by officials at DHS? Please
Should you have
any questions, please contact Katherine Nikas of my staff at (202) 224-5225.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Charles E. Grassley
Senate Committee on the
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Senate Committee on the