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DeSantis blasts Biden after linking Daytona Bike Week murders to illegal immigrant – Daytona Beach News-Journal

Jean R. Macean, a suspect in a brutal double murder during Bike Week in Daytona Beach, was in the United States illegally under “the Biden Administration’s dangerous immigration policies,” Gov. Ron DeSantis stated in a news release Wednesday.
Macean, 32, was in court Wednesday after having been indicted by a grand jury on two counts of first-degree murder with a weapon while acting with premeditation in the killings of Terry Aultman, 48, and Brenda Aultman, 55. The Aultmans were stabbed repeatedly while riding their bicycles home early in the morning of March 6 after attending Bike Week festivities on Main Street, police said. 
Macean appeared before County Judge David Cromartie on Wednesday for his first appearance in the courtroom at the Volusia County Branch Jail following his indictment on Tuesday. The judge ordered Macean held without bond. Macean did not make any statements. A written plea of not guilty had previously been entered for him.
Macean, a citizen of Haiti, had been arrested in 2019 in Orange County on multiple drug-related charges later dropped by former State Attorney Aramis Ayala.
“Floridians should not be subject to the reckless open border policies that the Biden Administration is imposing on this country,” DeSantis stated in the news release. “These policies are deadly. We also need answers as to why the State Attorney’s Office dropped charges against the defendant.”
Macean indicted:Man accused of stabbing Daytona Beach couple to death indicted on first-degree murder
What happened:Man accused of killing Daytona Beach couple as they rode bikes home arrested, police say
DeSantis’ news release states the Biden administration granted Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals last year.
“The policy allowed Macean to stay in the country,” the release states.
Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of Homeland Security under President Joe Biden, announced the 18-month TPS for Haitian nationals last May. He cited a political crisis, security concerns and dire economic and social conditions as a reason to grant Haitians a longer stay.
To be eligible to receive TPS, those Haitians must file an application and meet eligibility requirements. 
The Obama administration first gave Haitians TPS following a devastating 2010 earthquake, but the Trump administration attempted to end that policy in 2019. Several lawsuits extended the TPS temporarily following Biden’s election in 2021. 
“Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayorkas said at the time. “After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.”
Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary, said Macean had been in the country for years prior to his Orange County arrest.
“If the revocation of the TPS for Haiti issued by the Trump administration had been in place, or if the soft-on-crime prosecutors in the 9th circuit had not dropped the felony drug charges against Macean, he would have been deported and unable to brutally murder the Aultmans,” Pushaw said in an email. 
DeSantis has attacked Biden’s immigration policies previously, sending 50 Florida law enforcement officers to the Texas-Mexico border to assist with patrols, signing an executive order declaring a “Biden border crisis,” and challenging Biden’s “catch and release” program in court.
It was unclear exactly when Macean arrived in the United States, although traffic infraction records from Orange County indicate he was there as far back as 2016.
On Aug. 26, 2019, Macean was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, who charged him with possession of MDMA (ecstacy), a felony, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors. Another suspect with Macean at an Orlando apartment complex pool was also charged with possession of cocaine. 
Ayala, who didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment, dropped the charge against Macean, stating the case was “not suitable for prosecution.”
In 2017, Gov. Rick Scott removed her from oversight of some criminal cases after Ayala announced she would not pursue the death penalty against any defendants.
 Ayala — who had declared her candidacy for a seat in Congress — recently pivoted to enter the race for attorney general, one of three Democrats running. If she wins the primary, she would challenge incumbent Ashley Moody, a Republican.
Macean was also cited in 2016 by the Florida Highway Patrol on charges of possession of a controlled substance less than 20 grams, according to records. 
The 9th Circuit State Attorney at the time was Jeffrey Ashton, whose office later dropped those charges, according to a court document signed by Assistant State Attorney Alen Trobradovic. It did not give a reason for the decision to drop charges.
Contrary to public opinion, many studies have concluded immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than natives, while some studies have correlations between increases in immigration and lowered crime rates, a 2015 National Academy of Sciences study states.  “The more immigrants in an area, the lower the crime rate tends to be,” it states.
— Staff Writer Frank Fernandez contributed to this story. 
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