An illegal immigrant who allegedly has ties to MS-13 who was arrested in Nashville last week will, if convicted, likely serve time in an American prison before authorities deport him, according to a federal official.
As The Tennessee Star reported, authorities arrested that illegal immigrant, Franklin Jefferson Pineda-Caceres, 18, for allegedly kidnapping and beating a local high school student.
“The immigration process does not supersede criminal prosecution. He’s been deported before. He would be subject to deportation again. But that does not supersede criminal prosecution. He would stay in criminal custody and face criminal prosecution,” said Bryan Cox, spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“If he were to get any kind of criminal sentence but serve that sentence then the immigration process essentially takes place at whatever point he would be released from custody.”
Cox cited the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, which Congress enacted in 1952. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, officials have since amended the law several times.
When members of Congress established the Immigration and Nationality Act they said that removal from the United States is not punishment, Cox told The Tennessee Star.
“That is not a criminal punishment. It is an administrative action,” Cox said.
“You have no lawful basis to be in the country, so you get due process, and if you’re ordered removed the removal is not punishment, it is removing you from the place you don’t have lawful status to be back to your country of citizenship. It’s not designed to be punitive the way a criminal punishment would be.”
As The Star reported last week, contrary to what some people might believe, Nashville officials will work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to make a criminal arrest of an illegal alien.
But Nashville officials will not cooperate with ICE officers to help them enforce existing federal immigration laws.
The U.S. Department of Justice charged Pineda-Caceres with re-entering America illegally, which means he faces up to two year behind bars and a $250,000 fine.
Pineda-Caceres was deported in 2016 after he was caught illegally entering the United States two years earlier. Previously, Metro police arrested him in 2017 on drug crimes. After being arrested, he was again deported in 2018 but re-entered the country illegally.
Outgoing Nashville Mayor David Briley recently signed an executive order mandating that city officials not cooperate with ICE.
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