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Republicans Attack Biden’s Immigration Policies After Killing Of 12-Year-Old Houston Girl

After two immigrants were charged with the murder of 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray, who was found strangled in a Houston creek, state and national politicians used the tragedy to spearhead a new battle against immigration.

Two recent Venezuelan migrants, Johan Jose Martinez-Rangel and Franklin Pena, were arrested and charged with Jocelyn’s murder. Both men are being held on a $10 million bond.

The arrest intensified debate over immigrants, and Republicans have attributed the crime to President Biden’s border policies.

“That little girl would be alive today if Biden enforced immigration laws at the border,” Gov. Greg Abbott wrote on a X/Twitter post

According to the New York Times, former President Donald Trump has echoed the sentiment, and suggested the killing could be a topic during Thursday’s presidential debate.

“These monsters should never have been in our country and if I were president, they would not have been in our country,” Trump said. “We had a strong border, we had strong protection.” However, data does not support Trump’s claims.

In a recent op-ed for Bloomberg, Justin Fox, a financial journalist, highlighted that, when Trump sealed US borders in 2020, the homicide rate rose 29%, and now that illegal border crossings have been surging, the homicide rate is about 18%, meaning that there is not a correlation between migration influx and crime rate.

“It’s just that — not counting the crime of entering the US illegally (the most prosecuted of federal offenses) — illegal immigration simply doesn’t seem to influence crime rates,” he wrote.

Republicans have used similar cases to attack Biden’s immigration policies, such as the killing of  Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student in a Georgia park in February, and Rachel Morin, a 37-year-old mother of five, in Maryland. Both cases were perpetrated by immigrants.

As migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border hit record levels, Republicans have focused on crimes committed by migrants, but experts have echoed that studies have found that migrants commit fewer crimes than nationals.

“It’s all a performance for them,” Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project, told the Times. “These guys don’t care about this 12-year-old or any 12-year-old. If this young woman were raped, they would force her to endure the pregnancy and bear the child of the rapist.”

The accused men, Martinez-Rangel and Pena, were arrested in Houston last week. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, both had entered the U.S. illegally and were released pending immigration hearings after being detained by Border Patrol agents.

Investigators say the men, who had been drinking, encountered Jocelyn after she had sneaked out of her home. They allegedly lured her under the bridge and killed her before discarding her body in the bayou. Both men face capital murder charges.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg told Fox News that they could seek death penalty if they found evidence of sexual assault, which “likely happened,” according to him.

Jocelyn’s mother, Alexis Nungaray, described her daughter as “amazing” and someone who “definitely made people laugh.” She spoke of her ongoing pain, saying, “I still see her face in the back of my head all day, every day.”

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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