In a shocking and significant judge’s decision, a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was charged with assault, after he deliberately hit a mother with his vehicle after she and her daughter, both reported as “undocumented,” crossed into the U.S. from Mexico was sentenced to two years of probation, the Washington Post reports.
In a past interview with reporters, Ixchel Leibovich, one of the many plaintiffs in the lawsuit, described the amount of times she had to bump up against Border Patrol agents before she went through the “Do Not Let Go” crossing, and the abuse and harassment she has been subjected to. Even the fact she and her daughter were harassed prompted them to cross the border.
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, the trial led to the conviction of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Michael Senna, who, the Department of Justice stated, “intentionally hit [Leibovich] with his vehicle several times after she and her daughter crossed into the United States from Mexico in May of 2015.”
The alleged assault caused “serious physical and emotional injury to [Leibovich] and her daughter.”
That same month, Kate Steinle, 32, of San Francisco, was shot and killed by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant, who had been previously deported to Mexico five times. Sanchez was acquitted by the U.S. District Court on March 9, 2018.
Sanchez had been deported for time once after being convicted of burglary and is a career criminal, having been released numerous times despite prior convictions. He was in the country illegally again after being told by San Francisco that, “not a dime’s worth of bail is posted.”
A month before the arrest, Senna was allegedly caught in an incident where he physically attacked a woman on a sidewalk, slashing her clothes and grabbing her by the hair in an attempt to kiss her, according to the Department of Justice.
It is important to remember that immigration arrests and prosecutions are often distorted by the public into a focus on scapegoating “illegals.”
By the end of the reporter’s interview, I did not think the officer would go to jail; as that was the government’s case, the judge would likely order probation. But the punishment so extraordinary that it did not carry much weight. The court ordered Senna to complete 90 hours of community service.
The Texas Observer reported, “In addition to the sentence, Senna will have to pay Leibovich $7,500 to “revoke” the charges of assault. In simple terms, he did the assault.”
The Washington Post confirmed that Senna received a reduced sentence in order to reduce his debt to the U.S. Treasury.
In effect, a total of $6,500 will be paid to the U.S. Treasury from the wages that were allegedly stolen from Senna by the Border Patrol.
I, in the video previously provided to the news media, spoke with Leibovich about the reduction of sentence. When I asked, “Is it important for you that this video go around the world and get people to listen to what you went through?” she responded, “It is important that everyone will hear it, to know what happened. It won’t happen again to another family or another mother.”
In a June 28-30, 2018 video report on the footage, I said, “The image of this mother being beaten with a baton and kicked by U.S. Border Patrol agent Mike Senna will be one that will live in history, as well as will his history with the agency in question, as they say he crossed the line and was tried for this. And yet, because of a weak judiciary in Texas, he is walking free as we speak.”
Hopefully, this sentence will give other young immigrant mothers something like what happened to Ms. Leibovich in the past.