Luis Cobos-Cenobio, illegal immigrant in Arkansas police shootout, in U.S. under DACA, ICE says
The illegal immigrant whose shootout with an Arkansas sheriff’s deputy last week was caught on a dashboard cam and went viral was in the U.S. under the Obama-era DACA program, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday.
Luis Cobos-Cenobio, 29, faces charges of terrorism and attempted capital murder after a shooting spree that saw him open fire at on police during two separate confrontations as he tried to escape a routine traffic stop last week, authorities said.
Mr. Cobos-Cenobio had at least two previous arrests, officials said, including one misdemeanor charge in 2015 that brought him to ICE’s attention. But the Obama administration, which was in office at the time, concluded he wasn’t a danger, and declined to pursue deportation.
“ICE did not lodge a detainer against Mr. Cobos-Cenobio in 2015 as he is a DACA recipient and did not meet the threshold for enforcement under the DHS enforcement priorities in place at that time,” the agency told The Washington Times.
ICE said Mr. Cobos-Cenobio also appears to have been arrested on another misdemeanor charge earlier this year, but the federal agency didn’t get notified, so it couldn’t place a detainer to effectuate his deportation.
In the latest incident the four-minute dashboard camera video shows a man being pulled over and, when he stops his car, he immediately steps out of the driver’s side and opens fire with a handgun.
“Shots fired! shots fired! Geez!” the deputy is heard shouting. Authorities identified him as Cpl. Brett Thompson of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
A bystander also caught the firefight on video, showing the deputy retreat backwards from his vehicle as he exchanged shots with the driver.
The man then drove off, and another police department spotted him, leading to a second exchange of fire, and he fled again, finally being captured during a third encounter.
No police or deputies were wounded. Mr. Cobos-Cenobio was shot in the shoulder.
DACA is the deportation amnesty President Obama announced in 2012 to grant tentative legal status to illegal immigrant “Dreamers.”
The Obama administration concluded that even illegal immigrants with some criminal charges should be eligible for DACA, which explains how Mr. Cobos-Cenobio’s 2015 arrest on drug possession charges did not cause him to be expelled from the program, much less be deported.
“This is the kind of thing that happens when you don’t enforce standards,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “The idea that DACAs are all choir boys is obviously untrue, and yet the Obama administration was much too willing to let people with criminal records avoid deportation.”
Authorities arrested a spate of DACA recipients last year on charges of smuggling other illegal immigrants at the border.
President Trump has proposed phasing out the DACA program, though several judges have halted that plan, saying he cut too many corners. The case is likely headed for the Supreme Court.