Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials say the man who owns the SUV that struck and killed a Phoenix police officer is not in the country legally.
Phoenix police arrested 24-year-old Jesus Cabrera Molina. He is the registered owner of a green Ford SUV that was tied to the scene where Officer Daryl Raetz was struck and killed early Sunday morning. Investigators charged Molina with drug possession, but have not yet linked him to the deadly accident.
Monday evening, ICE officials confirmed Molina is in the United States illegally through the following statement:
"In March 2012, ICE placed Mr. Cabrera-Molina in removal proceedings and detained him following his incarceration in the Maricopa County Jail on a charge unrelated to this most recent arrest. Mr. Cabrera-Molina was ordered released from ICE custody in May 2012 after he posted the $5,000 bond granted by an immigration judge with the Department of Justice's Executive Office of Immigration Review. His removal proceedings remain pending at this time. In 2011 Mr. Cabrera-Molina was repatriated to Mexico."
CBS 5 research shows Molina has had other incidents with police. Since 2006, Molina was arrested twice. He was charged with DUI in 2009 and providing liquor to a minor in 2012.
"Let's be fair and not attribute this to the whole population," said immigration attorney Jose Penalosa. Penalosa said he worries this new information about Molina's immigration status will set back any meaningful dialogue on immigration reform.
"We really can't say this is an attribute of a certain class of people and attribute that to everybody all the time. That's just unfair and unAmerican," said Penalosa.
However, Russell Pearce, a former state senator who sponsored SB 1070, disagrees.
"We've had enough. Enforce our laws. This should have never happened. Government is complicit. The politicians are broken. He could have been arrested on those charges. He could have been deported on those charges," said Pearce.
Molina is currently in jail. He was not granted bond.
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