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VICTOR JOECKS: President’s border policies produce deadly results

Even Democrat staffers aren’t immune to the deadly consequences of President Joe Biden’s open border policies.

Kurt Englehart worked as a senior adviser to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. This month, he tragically died in a car accident in Reno. Police arrested Elmer Rueda-Linares, an 18-year-old, in connection with the crash.

Fatal accidents happen, but this one might have been avoided. Rueda-Linares is in the country illegally, as the Reno Gazette-Journal reported. He entered the United States on March 12, 2021, and was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

If former President Donald Trump were still in office, Rueda-Linares very likely would have been sent back to Mexico. The point of Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy was to ensure asylum seekers stayed in Mexico while their claims were processed. Those with a legitimate asylum claim were let in. Others weren’t.

The brilliance of this policy was that it discouraged illegal immigrants from even trying to cross the border. If you didn’t have a valid asylum claim, why make the trip if you wouldn’t be released in the United States?

Things changed under Biden. He ended Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy. Now, immigrants enter illegally and want to get arrested. They then claim asylum, expecting to be released into the country with their asylum claim processed at a future date. The system is so backlogged that it’s usually years in the future. This is a major reason why more than 9 million illegal immigrants have entered the United States under Biden. The president and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have thrown the border wide open.

That brings us back to Rueda-Linares. Officials released him into the country on June 22, 2021. Less than three years later, he was involved in the accident that took Englehart’s life.

This isn’t an isolated incident. Numerous illegal immigrants have been involved in recent deaths of Americans. One of the most publicized cases was Laken Riley, a nursing student in Georgia. Missouri police believe an illegal immigrant caused a car crash that killed Travis Wolfe, a 12-year-old. In Michigan, an illegal immigrant confessed to killing his 25-year-old girlfriend. In Maryland, police think an illegal immigrant and MS-13 gang member strangled and killed a 20-year-old woman with autism.

These crimes raise such fury because they shouldn’t be possible. The federal government is supposed to keep illegal immigrants out, not welcome them in.

But even the death of her own staffer didn’t sway Cortez Masto from leftist talking points. On Wednesday, the Senate considered the House impeachment of Mayorkas. The impeachment document charged that he “failed to control the border” and “compromised public safety.” What happened to Englehart is Exhibit A for that. But Cortez Masto claimed “there is no evidence” to convict Mayorkas and called it a “waste of time.”

I asked her office if she believed it was a mistake to release Rueda-Linares and if she thought Englehart would be alive if he hadn’t been released. Her office refused to address either question.

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on X.

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