The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas declined to comment on Francisco Oropeza Perez-Torres, a four-time deported illegal alien from Mexico who is accused of killing five people, including a nine-year-old boy, in Cleveland, Texas.

When asked about Oropeza’s exact immigration status, Mayorkas refused to answer, stating that the case is an active one and under investigation. He assured the American people that law enforcement would deliver accountability.

Oropeza was carrying a consular card issued by the Mexican government, but the card does not confer any immigration status in the U.S. His lengthy deportation history suggests that he illegally resided in the country.

He was first ordered deported in March 2009, and he was quickly deported that month but crossed the border illegally and was deported again in September 2009. Oropeza was also deported in January 2012 and July 2016.

In January 2012, Oropeza was convicted of drunk driving and given a prison sentence in Montgomery County, Texas. The FBI Houston office has “zero leads” as to Oropeza’s whereabouts and considers him armed and dangerous.

The tragedy has ignited a political debate on the issue of illegal immigration, with many Republicans blaming the Biden administration’s immigration policies.

Republican Representative Brian Babin of Texas said in a statement that the killings were a “direct result of President Biden’s open border policies,” adding that “his administration’s disregard for our nation’s immigration laws have put the lives of American citizens in danger.”

Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas, a critic of the administration’s handling of the border crisis, urged the president to visit the southern border and see the situation firsthand. “The border is not under control,” Cuellar said. “It’s not a crisis anymore, it’s chaos.”

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The tragedy has also reignited the debate on gun control, with many Democrats calling for stricter gun laws. Democratic Congressman Al Green of Texas stated, “Our country is plagued by the gun violence epidemic that continues to claim innocent lives … We must enact common-sense gun reform to prevent these heinous acts from continuing to happen.”