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Castro-Mata: Suspect Who Shot Two Officers Had Immigration Case Dismissed Within a Year of Illegal Entering US

A Venezuelan migrant accused of shooting two NYPD officers early Monday morning entered the US illegally last year, but his case has reportedly already been dismissed.  As CrimeOnline previously reported, two officers suffered minor injuries when they tried to pull over Bernardo Raul Castro-Mata, 19, as he drove a moped the wrong way down a one-way street in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens.

The officers returned fire and hit Castro-Mata in the ankle. Police said Castro-Mata, who has no prior criminal record, is suspected in a string of robberies conducted by a crew using motorized scooters. Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said he crossed into the US illegally last July and had been staying at a migrant shelter in New York.

According to the New York Post, Castro-Mata, who shot one officer in the chest and another in the leg, had his immigration case closed by a judge in Chicago on May 6.

This information came to light less than 24 hours after the Biden administration reportedly dismissed asylum cases and deportation orders for 350,000 migrants lacking criminal records or national security threats.

Those migrants are no longer required to leave the country and are not monitored by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), rendering them undocumented.

“This is just the latest example proving that the government does not have the capacity to adequately vet large numbers of people randomly pouring across our borders,” former ICE chief of staff, Jon Feere, told The Post.

According to the NYPD, Castro-Mata is also suspected of assaulting a female victim and stealing her credit card, which was later used at a Queens smoke shop in Queens, PIX 11 reports. Police also said the firearm Castro-Mata allegedly shot the officer with, which was recovered at the scene, was illegal.

Police declined to say if Castro-Mata had requested asylum or if he was among immigrants bused to New York by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last year. Meanwhile, the injured officers are expected to recover. They were treated and released from NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst on Monday morning. Charges against Castro-Mata are pending. Check back for updates.