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Katko, Stefanik, Rutherford Demand Answers on Illegal Migrant Charged With Murder After Falsely Posing as Minor

November 5, 2021

Katko, Stefanik, Rutherford Demand Answers on Illegal Migrant Charged With Murder After Falsely Posing as Minor

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Republican Conference Chair, and Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL), expressed grave concerns over the recent report that an illegal immigrant was charged with murder in Jacksonville, Florida, after posing as an unaccompanied minor to illegally enter the United States at the southern border in Texas, where border security policies are not being enforced. The members are demanding answers as to how a criminal could illegally enter the country, deceive both DHS and HHS about his age, and reportedly board a U.S. Government-chartered resettlement flight.

In a letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas and HHS Secretary Becerra, Stefanik, Katko, and Rutherford wrote, “On October 7, 2021, Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, a 24-year-old Honduran, was charged with the murder of Francisco Javier Cuellar, a 46-year-old father of four. Reports indicate that Mr. Ulloa entered the country illegally in Texas and convinced authorities he was a minor. It remains unclear how Mr. Ulloa arrived in Florida after his release. However, Mr. Cuellar’s family has expressed their belief he was transported via a U.S. Government-chartered flight resettling unaccompanied minors.”

The members continued, “The fact that a 24-year-old man could deceive both DHS and HHS officials into believing he was a minor and be detained with underage children is unconscionable. This is an obvious consequence of border security and immigration enforcement officials being overworked, understaffed, and under-supplied, and puts the safety of American citizens and unaccompanied migrant children in jeopardy.”

Stefanik, Katko, and Rutherford requested further information on why the screening process at the border failed to prioritize the safety of the American people and how Ulloa was permitted into the country and transported to Florida as an unaccompanied minor.

“This is just the latest example of the chaos ensuing from the Biden Border Crisis creating a wide-open door for criminals, smugglers, and cartels to exploit the system and gain a free pass into the U.S,” said Ranking Member Katko. “Lapses in the Administration’s ability to effectively secure the border and manage the massive influx of individuals along the southwest border continue to pose risks to the American people. And that is exactly what we are seeing here, when a fully grown adult is able to pose as an unaccompanied minor, evade detection, and go on to allegedly commit murder in the United States. With the assistance of President Biden, ineffectively vetted migrants are being dropped into our communities across the country and, in some cases, causing immense harm. A man has lost his life and a family lost a father because of President Biden’s extremely dangerous open border policies and the crisis that this Administration continues to perpetuate.”

“Joe Biden’s failed policies have created a border crisis of historic proportions, and his flights of illegal immigrants are spreading the impact of his national security crisis across the country,” Stefanik said. “Border security is national security, and the increase of crimes from illegal immigrants should alarm every American. While Joe Biden has incentivized policies to make our Southern Border and our communities less safe, I have introduced legislation to ensure sex criminals are stopped and deported immediately for the safety of our citizens. It is past time for the Biden Administration to take action to keep our communities safe.”

“The direct consequence of the Biden Administration’s ‘catch and release’ policy is the murder of a father of four in Northeast Florida,” said Rep. Rutherford. “This illegal alien should have never been allowed to enter the United States. It seems if you lie about your age and name, you can get set free into the country. This is not evidence of a failed policy; this is the Biden Administration’s policy. We’re pushing for answers and demanding transparency.”

Read the full letter here.