January 31, 2019
On the third anniversary of Sarah Root's death, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and 11 additional colleagues, reintroduced Sarah's Law. Edwin Mejia, was living illegally in the United States and killed Sarah Root in a drunk driving incident. Mejia then fled and remains on ICE's most wanted list.
“Edwin Mejia’s mugshot shouldn’t be on a most wanted poster — Edwin Mejia should be in jail, serving hard time for the life he took and the pain he left behind,” said Sasse. “Sarah’s Law is common-sense legislation that Sarah and her family deserve to have signed into law. Congress should waste no time sending this legislation to the President’s desk for his signature.”
Sarah's Law would allow federal law enforcement to detain illegal immigrants criminally charged with killing or seriously injuring another person.
January 31, 2016: Eswin Mejia is drunk street racing down L Street in Omaha when he crashes into Ms. Sarah Root’s vehicle. Mejia is booked for DUI and reckless driving resulting in serious bodily injury.
February 26, 2016: Mejia fails to appear in court related to the January 31 accident.
February 29, 2016: Sasse demands answers from ICE Director Sarah Saldana on why Eswin Mejia was not taken into custody.
March 15, 2016: Sasse grills ICE Director Saldana for answers at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The administration admits Mejia was a “threat to public safety.” Director Saldana commits to responding to all of Sasse’s questions by March 25th.
March 24, 2016: Sasse, along with Senators from Nebraska and Iowa, press ICE Director Saldana pressing for clarifications regarding her contradictory testimony to Congress.
March 29, 2016: After ICE fails to respond, Sasse increases public pressure.
March 30, 2016: After pressure from Sasse, ICE places Mejia on the Ten Most Wanted List. Sasse makes it clear that “Mr. Mejia should not need to be on this list — he should be in jail.”
April 4, 2016: ICE Director Sarah Saldana replies to Sasse’s February 29 letter, but provides no substantive answers. Sasse elevates the inquiry to a member of the President’s Cabinet, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.
April 26, 2016: Senators from Nebraska and Iowa send a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell demanding answers about the department’s handling of Eswin Mejia when he was first taken into custody in 2013, and released to his brother who was also in the country illegally.
May 7, 2016: DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson admits to Sasse that his agency should have detained Mejia.
June 29, 2016: Sasse, along with senators from Nebraska and Iowa, introduce “Sarah’s Law” to require mandatory detention by ICE of any illegal aliens charged with killing an American.