ICE agents confirmed yesterday that an illegal immigrant involved in a shootout with an Arkansas sheriff’s deputy was in the United States as an Obama-era DACA recipient.
The Washington Times reports that Luis Cobos-Cenobio, 29, faces charges of terrorism and attempted capital murder after opening fire on police in two separate confrontations after trying to escape a routine traffic stop last week.
Cobos-Cenobio’s shootout with Cpl. Brett Thompson of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was caught on a dashboard cam and went viral.
Cobos-Cenodio had at least two prior arrests, including a misdemeanor charge in 2015, but as the Times puts it, “the Obama administration, which was in office at the time, concluded he wasn’t a danger, and declined to pursue deportation.”
ICE said that Cobos-Cenodio “did not lodge a detainer against Mr. Cobos-Cenobio in 2015 as he is a DACA recipient and did not meet the threshold for enforcement under the DHS enforcement priorities in place at that time.”
ICE claims Cobos-Cenodio also appears to have one other arrest for a misdemeanor charge earlier this year, however they were not notified so they could not place a detainer to initiate deportation.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program began in 2012 after President Obama signed an executive order allowing certain illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as children to delay immediate deportation for a period of two years.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.”
Under the Obama Administration, nearly 800,000 individuals have received DACA status.
In January 2018, John Lott, founder and president of the Crime Research Prevention Center published a study on illegal immigration and specifically researched crime statistics of DACA-eligible individuals.
The study states: Young convicts are especially likely to be undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants born after June 15, 1981 are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While undocumented immigrants from 15 to 35 years of age make up a little over two percent of the Arizona population, they make up almost 8% of the prison population. These immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes.
In September 2017, the Trump Administration announced it would be phasing out the DACA program and would not accept new applications. However, a lower court ruled the administration had to continue accepting renewal applications.