A judge in Oregon has dismissed the deportation case against Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, a 19-year-old illegal immigrant who killed two young girls in a hit-and-run car accident last year. Though Garcia-Cisneros was in the midst of removal proceedings, she is now released and will not face deportation. Garcia-Cisneros, who came from Mexico as a child, had permission to be in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by President Obama in 2012.
Last October, Garcia-Cisneros was driving in Oregon when she hit two sisters, Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, and Abigail Robinson, 11, as the girls were playing in a pile of leaves. Garcia-Cisneros apparently drove through the leaf pile, unable to see the little girls playing in it. She fled the scene, later claiming she had no idea she had hit anyone. Garcia-Cisneros claimed she realized she had killed the children only after her brother returned to the scene, spoke with the grieving father of one of the girls, and reported back.
Garcia-Cisneros did not go back to the scene of the accident. Her boyfriend took her Nissan Pathfinder to a car wash to have it cleaned immediately afterward, and both he and Garcia-Cisneros initially lied to police when asked about the accident.
The parents of the girls and the fiancee of Anna Dieter-Eckerdt’s biological father say they have forgiven her and asked for clemency.
In January, a judge sentenced Garcia-Cisneros to probation and community service, a notably light sentence for fleeing the scene after hitting and killing two little girls.
Though she avoided prison, as an illegal whose felony conviction canceled her DACA protection, she was taken to an immigration detention center. Local paper The Oregonian explains:
But Garcia-Cisneros was then taken to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash. because she is not an American citizen. She was brought here as a child and had temporary permission to be in the country through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Her felony conviction disqualified her from that program, however, and she was in danger of being deported.
When President Obama first instituted DACA in June 2012, we were told by the administration and its supporters in both parties that these were children straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting – the next generation of physicists, mechanics, doctors, and lawyers. These were law-abiding “dreamers.”
Garcia-Cisneros’ felony conviction should have disqualified her for DACA, but the immigration judge in her case, whose name was not released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has canceled the deportation proceedings. Garcia-Cisneros is now back under DACA’s protection and benefits — a free woman who qualifies for a work permit and a social security number.
Laws for ordinary Americans are harsher than ever, while illegal immigrants are absolved of crimes with a slap on the wrist and deportation proceedings canceled.
Bienvenidos a America.
— A. J. Delgado is a conservative writer and lawyer. She writes about politics and culture.
editor’s note: This article has been amended since its initial publication.