Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today pressed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson for information about a criminal immigrant previously deported at least five times who is currently illegally present in the United States and reportedly responsible for nearly a dozen sexual assaults.
Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales is charged with six felony offenses, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated kidnapping. According to news reports, Coria-Gonzales was arrested after allegedly kidnapping a woman and attempting to light her on fire using gasoline. Additionally, Coria-Gonzales allegedly kidnapped and raped a 68-year old woman. Federal immigration authorities report that Coria-Gonzales was previously convicted of criminal charges, including three charges of driving while intoxicated. Police say that Coria-Gonzales has confessed to several of the crimes and media reports indicate that he has admitted that he beat the victims out of anger.
In the chairmen’s letter to Secretary Johnson, they demand his department explain how such a dangerous criminal could be allowed to continually reenter the United States illegally and continue his criminal conduct without intervention by federal immigration authorities. They request that DHS provide his immigration and criminal history to learn about how he illegally entered the U.S. multiple times.
Below is the text of the letter. The signed copy can be found here.
September 12, 2016
The Honorable Jeh Johnson
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
Dear Secretary Johnson:
We write to request case information on Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales, a criminal alien illegally present in the United States and an alleged serial rapist, who police believe is responsible for nearly a dozen sexual assaults. He is currently charged with six felony offenses, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated kidnapping. According to news reports, Coria-Gonzales was arrested after allegedly kidnapping a woman and attempting to light her on fire using gasoline. Additionally, Coria-Gonzales allegedly kidnapped and raped a 68-year old woman.
It is astonishing that Coria-Gonzales has been deported at least five times by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to investigators. ICE reports that Coria-Gonzales was previously convicted of criminal charges, including three charges of driving while intoxicated. Police say that Coria-Gonzales has confessed to several of the crimes and media reports indicate that he has admitted that he beat the victims out of anger. We want to know how such a dangerous individual could be allowed to continually reenter the country illegally and continue his criminal conduct without intervention by ICE.
In order to better understand Coria-Gonzales’ immigration and criminal history, we are seeking answers regarding his multiple illegal entries and residency in the United States. Therefore, please provide both Committees on the Judiciary with the following information as soon as possible, but not later than September 21:
- The alien registration number for Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales, his complete alien file (A-file), including any temporary files, working files, or Service Center files, and all documents and items contained in them, all documents generated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or in its possession about him, whether currently in written or electronic form, including, but not limited to, the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Executive Summary, criminal history and immigration summaries, detainers or requests for notification, I-213(s), and Notice(s) to Appear or other charging documents created to seek his removal from the United States.
- Please identify and explain each and every encounter that DHS or any of its agencies has had with Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales, including the date of the encounter, whether the encounter resulted in detention or the issuance of a detainer or request for notification, whether the encounter resulted in the initiation of removal proceedings or reinstatement of a prior removal order against him, and the current status of those removal proceedings or reinstatement.
- Please identify each and every date on which Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales was arrested by a law enforcement agency in the United States, including criminal and civil arrests, the nature of the charges, the jurisdictions where the arrests occurred, the dispositions of the charges, the dates on which he was released from the custody of the law enforcement agencies, and the reasons for the release.
- If a local law enforcement agency declines to honor a detainer or notify ICE regarding Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales, what action will DHS take to ensure that he is not released from custody and allowed to reoffend?
- Did Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales ever apply for any immigration benefit, including deferred action? If so, was any application approved? Please provide copies of any applications that Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales may have submitted, whether or not adjudicated.
- Is Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales a member of, or associated with any criminal gang? Please explain.
- If Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales had been encountered by DHS enforcement officials prior to his recent arrest for sexual assault, would he have met the requirements to be considered a priority for removal under the Administration’s Priority Enforcement Program? If so, please provide the exact reason for such consideration. If not, why not?
- Have any victims associated with the crimes allegedly committed by Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales been contacted by officials at ICE? Please provide details.
As you know, the Privacy Act authorizes disclosure of information to Committees of Congress. If you cannot fully respond to each and every request for documents or information set forth above, please identify the specific item requested to which you cannot fully respond and explain why you cannot respond.
Should you have any questions, please contact Kathy Nuebel Kovarik at (202) 224-5225 or Tracy Short at (202) 225-3926. Thank you for your cooperation.
Charles E. Grassley
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
House Committee on the Judiciary