Posted on February 23, 2016

ICE: Street-Racing Illegal Alien Arrested for Killing Iowa Woman ‘Did Not Meet ICE’s Enforcement Priorities’

Katie McHugh, Breitbart, February 22, 2016

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chose not to honor a request for an immigration detainer after Omaha police arrested illegal alien Eswin Mejia after he struck and killed 21-year-old Sarah Root while driving drunk and street-racing the night of January 31. Mejia vanished shortly after posting bond.

Sarah Root

Sarah Root

According to Omaha’s World-Herald, Omaha Police accident investigator Dawn Turnbull repeatedly requested ICE detain Mejia after his arrest, to no avail. Despite facing up to 20 years in prison, the illegal alien was not determined a flight risk and ICE, following the Obama administration’s “priority enforcement program” (PEP), refused to detain him.

ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer said in a statement to Breitbart News:

At the time of his January 2016 arrest in Omaha on local criminal charges, Eswin Mejia, 19, of Honduras, did not meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, as stated by the Nov. 20, 2014 civil enforcement memo issued by Secretary Johnson, because he had no prior significant misdemeanor or felony conviction record. As such, ICE did not lodge a detainer. Mejia is scheduled to go before an immigration judge on March 23, 2017, and it will be up to the immigration courts under the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to determine whether he has a legal basis to remain in the U.S.


The day before the crash, Root graduated from Bellvue University with a 4.0 GPA and a B.S. in crime investigation. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help her family as they mourn her loss.