Why was a Honduran man who was caught crossing the U.S. border and later charged with 6 felonies relating to child sexual assault allowed to enter the United States?
After illegally entering the U.S. in 2007 and being deported, a Honduran man named Celin Villeda-Orellan was caught crossing the U.S. border in 2008 but was released by immigration officials because he had a child with him. This made him eligible for the "family unit" exemption. In 2020, he was arrested by Denver police for child sexual assault, but when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) asked the city of Denver to turn him over for deportation, Denver released him because it is a sanctuary city and closed his case by dropping all 6 of the felony charges against him. After ICE arrested Villeda at Denver International Airport, the city of Denver reinstated the charges against him. Regarding the "family unit" exemption, an illegal immigrant told the New York Times in 2018 that he took his daughter on a dangerous journey to illegally cross the U.S. border because, "She was my passport."