“We’ve been kept away from rallies where illegal aliens are protesting U.S. laws — we’re not allowed to make arrests, deport criminals and the system is made to work against us,” said a Department of Homeland Security official not authorized to speak publicly. “What happened to Jesse is a terrible crime but it happens every day because we are kept from doing our jobs to protect our citizens. Criminals seem to have more rights.”
Jesse Labon Benavides, 33, was gunned down during a family birthday party in Dallas in October 2011.
It’s been more than two years since Jesse Benavides was gunned down at a family birthday party in Dallas by a man who never should have been on U.S. streets.
Santana Gaona had been in jail less than two months earlier for allegedly raping and beating his estranged wife. He was flagged as an illegal immigrant and scheduled for deportation. Despite a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “detainer” that had been placed on Gaona, requiring him to face a deportation hearing, ICE officials canceled the order and he was released from jail.
At the time, ICE officials told the Dallas Morning News and this reporter that “another law enforcement agency” asked them to remove the detainer.
In 2011, a federal law enforcement officer confirmed to this reporter that Gaona had been an informant for multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, which was responsible for his release. The official said Gaona showed no signs of being a violent criminal and there was no reason to believe he would have committed murder.
Benavides, 33, was trying to stop a fight between Gaona and Gaona’s estranged wife when he was shot in front of his 8-year-old son.