Texas shooting suspect Francisco Oropesa had been deported from US four times

Law enforcement officials are currently searching for Mr Oropensa in connection to a deadly shooting

Ariana Baio
Monday 01 May 2023 20:27 BST
Five dead, including eight-year-old, in Texas shooting

Francisco Oropesa, the man accused of fatally shooting five people including a nine-year-old boy in Cleveland, Texas this past weekend has been deported from the US four times, according to reports.

Mr Oropesa, allegedly an undocumented immigrant from Mexico according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office, had been apprehended and removed from the US several times, according to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) source.

The source told The Independent that Mr Oropesa, whose full name is reportedly Francisco Oropesa Perez-Torres, was first removed by an immigration judge in March 2009.

After that, Mr Oropesa reentered the United States at an unknown time and location but was removed again in September 2009, January 2012 and July 2016.

The immigration status of Mr Oropesa, as well as the victims, has become a topic of interest for the public in coverage of the horrifying shooting.

Mr Abbott’s office released a statement on Sunday confirming the victims as well as the shooter were “illegal immigrants” leading to backlash from the public who criticised Mr Abbott for not referring to the victims as simply people.

The five victims were apparently from Honduras. However, one of the victims, 21-year-old Diana Velázquez Alvarado, was reportedly a permanent resident of the United States, according to her husband.

Some accused Mr Abbott of using language like “illegal immigrant” to downplay the severity of the shooting.

Those who advocate for stricter immigration policies have argued in favor of harsher control of the US-Mexico border by claiming dangerous people cross into the United States illegally.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz blamed President Joe Biden’s immigration policies on the tragic situation calling it “predictable” on Twitter.

However, others blamed a lack of gun control for the deadly shooting saying automatic-style rifles are too easy to purchase.

New York Representative Adriano Espaillat, who is a former undocumented immigrant, tweeted, “Americans deserve freedom from gun violence. Americans deserve freedom to not live in fear.”

Mr Espaillat called other “MAGA Republicans” to “step up” and create “common sense gun reform”.

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