An unlawful migrant armed with a machete and other weapons was arrested last week near the U.S. Capitol after local police noticed the man exhibiting “strange behavior,” according to a news release.
U.S. Capitol Police arrested Leonardo Marquez, 23, a Venezuelan national, on December 27 on the east side of the Capitol building after they reportedly observed him pacing back and forth and behaving strangely. He was found to be carrying a machete, a large knife, and a brick.
It is unknown when or where Marquez entered the country, but he allegedly did not follow proper procedures and failed to report to an immigration center. However, he was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on August 21, 2023, near El Paso. He was subsequently released through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Alternatives to Detention program due to a lack of available bed space, The Hill reported.
Marquez appeared at an Enforcement and Removal Operations office in October and was issued a notice to appear before an immigration court. He is currently in the custody of ERO and is facing charges of possession of a deadly weapon.
Migrants who enter the country unlawfully through Texas have been increasingly sent to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles through a Texas program called Operation Lone Star. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office said in a statement on December 29, 2023, that more than 92,000 migrants had been bused to so-called “sanctuary cities” since August 2022.
“Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps created by the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border,” the statement reads. “Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Joe Biden’s open border policies.”
The mayors of the five cities that have received the highest number of migrants recently wrote a letter to the Biden administration calling for additional federal spending and changes to existing law, according to reporting by The Dallas Express.
While many areas of the country are experiencing decreases in overall crime, instances of high-profile crimes committed by individuals in the country unlawfully are making headlines, including in Dallas, where an off-duty firefighter was critically injured in a motor vehicle accident with an unlawful migrant who was allegedly driving drunk in December.