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Two Undocumented Migrants Charged in Murder of 12-Year-Old Jocelyn Nungaray, Sparking Immigration Debate

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The brutal murder of 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray in Houston, Texas, has ignited a fierce national debate on immigration policy after it was revealed that the two suspects charged with her killing entered the United States illegally.

Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 22, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, both Venezuelan nationals, were charged with capital murder for Nungaray’s death. Her body was discovered in a creek early Monday morning, with the cause of death determined to be strangulation.

According to ICE officials, both suspects “illegally entered the U.S. without inspection, parole or admission by a U.S. immigration officer on an unknown date and at an unknown location.” They were apprehended by border patrol near El Paso earlier this year and released on their own recognizance with notices to appear.

The case has drawn nationwide attention due to its horrific details and the immigration status of the suspects. Houston Mayor John Whitmire emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “If there was ever a circumstance where you do not give someone bail, this is it.”

The White House responded to the tragedy, with a spokesperson saying,

“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of Jocelyn Nungaray.” They added, “Anyone found guilty of this type of heinous and shocking crime should be held accountable, to the fullest extent of the law.”

The incident has reignited the ongoing political debate surrounding immigration and border security. Former President Donald Trump blamed the Biden administration’s border policies for the tragedy, while the Biden campaign pointed to Trump’s role in blocking a bipartisan border deal in Congress.

As the community mourns, a public candlelight vigil was held for Jocelyn Nungaray on Friday night. Her mother, Alexis Nungaray, remembered her daughter as “goofy” and “one of a kind,” saying, “I was looking forward to seeing how beautiful she was going to be.”

This case joins a series of high-profile crimes allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants, further intensifying the national conversation on immigration policy and border security as the November election approaches.

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