AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police say Nicodemo-Coria-Gonzalez may be involved in at least 10 cases of sexual assault against women in Austin.
Wednesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Coria-Gonzalez has been deported to Mexico five times previously, following repeated driving while intoxicated arrests.
In a statement from ICE to KXAN, the agency states, in part:
ICE records show that he has been deported to Mexico five times between September 2012 and July 2015 based on his criminal convictions, which include three DWIs.
As a convicted criminal, Mr. Coria-Gonzalez is an ICE enforcement priority. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) remains focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes threats to national security, public safety and border security as laid out in Secretary Johnson’s November 2014 memo.”
- To read that memo, click here.
Travis County records indicate Coria-Gonzalez has been in county custody at least twice before his current arrest — once in August 2012, when he was arrested for DWI — and again in July 2015, for a tamper with government charge. In both cases, a detainer was placed on the suspect at the Travis County Jail.
Homeland Security is still working with local departments on how to prioritize dangerous convicts for deportation. Many still have an issue with determining those who may become problems, and those who aren’t a problem.
Meanwhile, local undocumented immigrants are focusing on the violent nature of Coria-Gonzalez’s most recent charges versus non-violent criminal offenses and how they relate to detain and deportation practices in Travis County.
“It was absolute sadness that I was going to be separated from my grandchildren and my children,” explained Ana Enriquez, a Mexican woman living in the U.S. after entering with a work permit.
Enriquez said the threat of deportation was all too real about four years ago when her 17-year-old son was arrested for underage drinking.
“It was very sad and she went into a depression because she didn’t know what was going to happen with her, whether she was gonna be deported,” said immigration lawyer, Griselda Ponce.
Deportation was too harsh a possibility, Ponce says, because Enriquez has no criminal record.
“She’s a hard worker, you know, she’s not here to cause problems.”
In June 2014, Travis Co. Sheriff Greg Hamilton said, “ICE needs an opportunity to vet these individuals that are in our jail, to make sure that we don’t have somebody that’s dangerous, get out and commit a heinous crime.”
That has been the standard concerning the local immigration process.
However, people like Enriquez say it is more important to enforce stricter immigration policies and penalties on undocumented immigrants who have violent criminal histories, not on those who have minor criminal histories.
“Travis County’s job is yes, detain these people who are causing harm, and make a decision to say, you know, folks that are not causing harm, let them go get their green card, go get their legal status, and fix their situation,” Ponce added.