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Orange County DA Spitzer slams Mayorkas’ DHS for burglary tourism crisis: ‘This has to stop’

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer (R-Oregon) has accused U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas of continuing and worsening Robbery Tourism CrisisRecent press release From Spitzer’s office.

Southern California has been plagued by a growing number of bandit tourists who are abusing the Electronic System for Travel Authorization Visa Waiver Program and entering the U.S. without proper vetting. The waiver program allows foreign nationals from certain countries to enter the U.S. for up to 90 days at a time. Entry is granted within 72 hours of application.

“Mayorkas’ inaction will mean Americans will continue to be terrorized by criminals.”

To participate in the ESTA visa waiver, foreign countries are required to conduct criminal background checks on their citizens. But Chile, which is covered by the program, has refused to provide such information to the U.S. government, Spitzer noted. As a result, Chilean nationals, including those with criminal records, are allowed into the U.S. without a criminal background check.

In a press release on Friday, Spitzer noted that 350,000 Chilean nationals entered the U.S. through the waiver program in 2022.

Despite violating ESTA requirements, the Department of Homeland Security has not excluded Chile from the program.

Spitzer’s office noted that two Chilean nationals were recently indicted for “robberying a home in San Juan Capistrano, then driving the wrong way down the highway while being pursued by police, causing a head-on collision.”

Jorge Navarrete-Corbalan, 32, and Alejandro Tobarfuentes, 32, are accused of crashing their Mini Cooper into a Toyota Camry on June 8. According to a press release, the two suspects were traveling northbound in the southbound lanes when they “nearly” struck an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy.

“Navarrete-Corvalan was charged with one count of first-degree theft, one count of fleeing a police officer while traveling against traffic, one count of driving the wrong way on a divided highway causing injury or death, and one count of possession of a false identification. Tobarfuentes was charged with one count of first-degree theft, one count of possession of a false identification, and one count of possession of burglary tools,” Spitzer’s office wrote.

“Navarrete-Corbalan faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison and Tobarfuentes faces a maximum sentence of six years and eight months in state prison,” the press release added.

Prior to the head-on collision, two suspects reportedly entered a residence and stole a safe containing designer handbags and jewellery.

The two are accused of providing fake Venezuelan identity documents to police.

According to a press release, Spitzer has been calling on the Department of Homeland Security since May 2023 to close loopholes in ESTA that continue to be exploited by foreign criminal organizations.

“Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has the authority to immediately and unilaterally suspend Chile from the ESTA Visa Waiver Program until it meets its criminal background check requirements for its citizens,” Spitzer said. “Instead of holding Chile accountable and blocking a direct pathway for organized crime to inject thieves into the United States, the result of Secretary Mayorkas’ inaction is that Americans continue to be terrorized by criminals stalking them in their homes, waiting for the perfect opportunity to smash their backsliders and steal their most prized possessions. With every broken glass, they shatter another family’s sense of security, and they put everyone on the road at risk as they do anything to escape police. This must stop, and it must stop today.”

In April, the Department of Homeland Security CNN The department said it was “deeply concerned about some individuals traveling to the United States and engaging in criminal activity,” and claimed the Chilean government was “strengthening collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security to prevent the travel of known criminals.” CNN also reported that the department was accelerating the sharing of biometric information between the United States and Chile.

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