Two men, Mauricio Barrera-Navidad and Carlos Ernesto Palacios-Amaya, residing within Maryland, whom US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) identified as illegal immigrants, have been arrested by the Montgomery Country Police for raping an 11-year-old girl on multiple occasions, as reported by Kevin Lewis for WJLA.
UPDATE: According to ICE, both suspects in this child rape case are living in the U.S. illegally.— Kevin Lewis (@ABC7Kevin) August 13, 2019
Palacios-Amaya was removed from the U.S. in 2014 and re-entered on an unknown date.
Barrera-Navidad received a “final order of removal” in 2016.
Both men are Salvadoran nationals. pic.twitter.com/PUol1RV5nw
In July, a school girl - who lives in Germantown - opened up to her middle school social worker about sexual assaults she underwent, revealing the names of the offenders.
In September 2018, the victim was introduced to Palacios-Amaya, a 28-year-old Salvadorian national and friend of her older brother. The 11-year-old girl was then reportedly raped by him on a number of occasions in a period of a few months following their encounter and one of the rapes was recorded on the suspect's phone, according to court documents.
The social worker was told that Palacios-Amaya had been persuading the girl to skip classes on a several occasions in order for her to stay home without her parents present to have unsupervised access to the victim.
Another 29-year-old Salvadorian national, Mauricio Barrera-Navidad from Damascus, Maryland, was introduced to the victim during her older brother’s birthday party in July 2018. He reportedly committed rape against her on the same day of their acquaintance, after which he continued communication with the girl by cell phone for an unspecified amount of time.
ICE identified both offenders as illegal immigrants, as Palacios-Amaya was previously removed from the US in 2014 and re-entered at an unknown date, while Barrera-Navidad was issued “a final order of removal” in December 2016. Barrera-Navidad was granted a $100,000 bond by Montgomery County District Court Judge Sherri Koch, but currently remains in prison awaiting trial.
On 7 August, ICE conducted raids on seven Mississippi poultry factories in an operation to detain unauthorised workers illegally residing within the US, after which 680 workers were temporarily detained.
Illegal immigration has been a rising problem in the US, with the largest portion of migrants coming from Central American countries, especially Mexico. There were around 5 million unauthorized Mexican migrants living in the US in 2017, according to reports, and thousands trying to move to the country in search of asylum.
The latest official estimates state that some 10.5 million illegal aliens were in the US in 2017, approximately 3 percent of the total population.