A heartbroken mother whose daughter was allegedly raped and murdered by a teenage MS-13 gang member from El Salvador has filed a lawsuit against the federal government for playing “Russian roulette with our lives,” accusing agents of failing to stop the suspect at the border.
Tammy Nobles, the mother of 20-year-old Kayla Hamilton, argues in her $100 million lawsuit that both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services failed her daughter by allowing the unidentified migrant into the country without confirming his identity.
Nobles and another grieving mother testified on Thursday in front of the House panel conducting an impeachment inquiry into Alejandro Mayorkas, who they accuse of not enforcing federal immigration laws.
“For me this not a political issue this a safety issue for everyone living in the United States,” she told the House Homeland Security Committee.
“This could have been anyone’s daughter. I don’t want any other parent to live the nightmare that I am living. I am her voice now and I am going to fight with everything I have to get her story told and bring awareness of the issue at the border.”
Two days later she and her lawyer repeated her claims in an interview with NewsNation as they publicized their lawsuit.
“Nobody at the border did their job and checked his background,” Nobles reportedly said.
If the feds had properly screened the suspect, they would have realized he was a member of the gang — disqualifying him from entry into the United States, she alleged.
In that case, Nobles claimed, her daughter would still be alive.
“I want everyone to know what’s going on at the border,” she said. “I had no clue what was going on before my daughter was brutally murdered and raped — but I do now.
“And I’ve found that the story is just so mind-boggling, how nobody at the border did their job and checked his background.
“All they had to do was make one phone call to El Salvador to know that he was an MS-13 gang member on the list,” Nobles added.
Her daughter was raped and strangled to death inside her Frederick, Maryland trailer on July 27, 2022, police said.
She had been living with the suspect, who allegedly sublet the trailer from another undocumented migrant.
Authorities were finally able to nab him in January 2023 after comparing his DNA to evidence from the crime scene.
He was charged with first-degree murder, as well as rape and robbery, and is currently being held without bail before his trial slated for June 28.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement later confirmed the suspect, a 17-year-old El Salvador native, was listed as a member of Mara Salvatrucha, known as MS-13.
But Nobles and her attorney, Brian Claypool, now say the teen should never have been let into the country in the first place.
“We’re bringing this lawsuit because we’re tired of being held hostage in our own country,” Claypool told NewsNation. “We’re tired of DHS playing Russian roulette with our lives [and] with Kayla’s life.
“That’s why we brought this case,” he said.
“We’re alleging that two federal agencies catastrophically failed Kayla… and are failing everybody,” Claypool said, claiming, “This could happen anywhere to anybody.
“The DHS just needs to be held accountable,” he continued.
“All they had to do was follow their own protocol — lift the t-shift of the 16-year-old young man that was trying to enter the border [and] they would have seen a gang-related tattoo. And guess what? That would have disqualified him from entering this country.
“He should have been sent back at that very second to El Salvador.”
Claypool continued to argue that “all they had to do was pick up the one, make a phone call and guess what? On the list in El Salvador was this young man, because he was arrested in July 2020 for being involved in an illicit MS-13 gang.
“He would have been disqualified, again, [from] ever entering the country.”
Claypool also argues that the Department of Health and Human Services “was responsible for putting [the suspect] in a holding facility for a couple of days and then making a phone call and confirming that this young man had what’s called a verified sponsor — a relative, a known, verified relative.
“Even though DHS let him in, he still can’t get in the US unless he is going to a known relative,” he explained. “Well, they blew it, too.
“And they’re going to pay the price, because he runs away, by the way, after going to this ‘alleged’ verified sponsor. And then it gets even worse, when [the suspect] end[ed] up at this trailer home as a roommate with lovely Kayla, that was leased out by another illegal immigrant.
“So we’re done with this,” Claypool said.
“The federal government has blood on its hands. They owed us a duty to protect Kayla and others in this country, and we’re going to bring change through this lawsuit.”
Meanwhile, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have launched a probe into Kayla’s rape and murder as they criticized the Biden administration’s open border policy.
In a May report, the Committee concluded: “The Biden Administration’s open-borders policies have created vulnerabilities that criminal aliens and gang members exploit to the detriment of American citizens.
“The sad fact is that [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas and the Biden Administration have failed to implement basic screening and vetting measures—such as checking with law enforcement officials in an alien’s home country—to ensure that those entering the U.S. are not dangerous criminals or known gang members.
“At the same time, they continue to tell the American people that illegal aliens encountered along the southwest border are vetted adequately.
“This callous disregard for the safety of Americans, in the name of expedited alien processing, resulted in the tragic and preventable murder of Kayla Hamilton.”