ICE Defies Biden and Deports El Paso Shooting Witness
The witness had agreed to testify against the gunman in the 2019 Walmart massacre.
According to the Associated Press, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been deporting immigrants to at least three countries these past few days: 15 people to Jamaica and 269 people to Guatemala and Honduras. ICE's decision took place after President Biden's executive order for a 100-day moratorium on deportations was suspended by a federal judge in response to a Texas lawsuit. That ruling, however, did not require ICE to schedule the deportations.
Among those deported was a woman named Rosa, who witnessed the August 2019 El Paso shooting that left 23 people dead and 26 injured. Authorities said the gunman had driven almost 700 miles from near Dallas and that he was specifically targeting Mexicans. Rosa had agreed to be a witness against the gunman and according to her lawyer had already met with the local district attorney's office.
Rosa told El Paso's KTSM 9 that she and her sister witnessed the gunman attack his first victim outside the Walmart before he went inside. "We basically saw everything before he entered the store and we wanted to tell what we saw," she said.
Before her deportation, many were trying to protect her from potential violence back home in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Rosa was pulled over for a broken brake light, detained based on previous traffic warrants, and then transferred to ICE, which deported her on January 29 before she could reach her attorney.
Texas Representative Veronica Escobar said her office had flagged Rosa's case to the White House. "Rosa — an El Pasoan and survivor and material witness of the deadliest terrorist attack against Latinos — was deported yesterday," she tweeted. "I'm supporting @DMRS_ElPaso efforts and will do everything I can to bring Rosa home and fight to protect victims and witnesses from deportation."