- The Washington Times - Friday, January 3, 2020

ICE officials said Friday they swooped in to arrest an illegal immigrant accused of a hit-and-run Christmas Eve traffic death after local New York officials released him without bail.

The Mexican man, Jorge Flores-Villalba, 27, stands accused of fleeing the scene of a crash that took the life of fellow immigrant, Marie “Rosie” Osai, a mother of three who came to the U.S. from Haiti.

Stony Point, a town on the northern edge of the New York City metropolitan area, released Mr. Flores-Villalba almost immediately after charging him with the crime. Local officials said a new state bail law taking effect next week would have caused him to be released anyway, since hit-and-run isn’t deemed a violent crime.

After community outrage, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement stepped in and arrested Mr. Flores-Villalba on Dec. 30, and promised to hold him for deportation.

“ICE understands people in this community are alarmed about the release of this individual after being arrested for a crime of this heart-breaking nature,” said Thomas Decker, director of ICE’s New York field office. “This is exactly why ICE and local law enforcement agencies should cooperate to the utmost extent possible and not be limited on how we work together.”

Mr. Flores-Villalba was previously caught trying to sneak into the U.S. as a teen in 2008 and was shipped back to Mexico, but re-entered at some point later.

He was driving without a license.

New York just enacted a new law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain standard licenses similar to those available to any citizen or legal resident.

Many other states that allow illegal immigrants to obtain licenses denote them as different, so that they cannot be fraudulently used as proof of legal status.

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