Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, there has been enormous shock and anger that a known MS-13 gangster with prior arrests for violent offenses could have been let loose on the streets by a grossly permissive sanctuary city policy.
Edwin Ramos was recently arrested for the triple murder of Tony Bologna, and his sons Michael and Matthew, in what is now described as a mistaken gang shooting.
This case is still roiling the city. It shows no sign of dying down. There is pure horror at such extreme governmental malpractice. Even San Francisco liberals expect the police to put the bad guys in jail—not fluff their pillows. There is dismay and surprise at how an obviously dangerous criminal alien like Edwin Ramos could be freed to cause such havoc.
There was also local outrage when it became known that San Francisco had sent Honduran crack dealers to comfy group living quarters to escape ICE and given them non-deportation flights home on the taxpayer's tab.
The sad fact, however, is that heinous crimes committed by previously arrested illegal aliens are all too common throughout America.
The Bologna family has been devastated by their terrible loss. But they are not alone by any means. The many deaths from murder and drunk driving caused by foreigners who had already been in the hands of police are a shocking indictment of law enforcement and its interface with politics.
The cop on the street is usually a no-nonsense defender of order. But if the Chief of Police is a political appointment of City Hall (as many are, like the useless Heather Fong in San Francisco), public safety may be sacrificed for ideological ends.
The average busy citizen usually has no idea about the pervasiveness of illegal alien crime, because the MainStream Media would rather run daily sob stories portraying lawbreaker foreigners as victims. The only time the liberal press covers a crime committed by an illegal alien is when the offense is too horrific to be ignored—such as multiple murders. Reports of single deaths caused by illegal aliens usually get local coverage only. Additionally, the immigration status of criminals is systematically suppressed throughout the media. So the national pattern of foreigner mayhem is simply not recognized.
One case that did get noticed:
The killer was Alfredo Ramos, who was drunk at three times the legal limit and speeding as he smashed into the girls' car. He had been convicted of DUI two months previously, and his punishment at that time was a suspended sentence, a $250 fine and a requirement to attend an alcohol awareness program. There was no deportation, so Ramos remained in Virginia, enabling him to kill the girls.
A June 5 Washington Post story (A Tipping Point for Outrage, by Karin Brulliard), called the crime a "catalyst" for mobilizing citizen action against open borders and immigration permissiveness:
"'What happened in Virginia Beach is they woke up Saturday morning and realized not only do illegal immigrants work in your town, live in your town, but they also kill people in your town,' then-Del. John J. Welch III (R-Virginia Beach) told reporters at the time."
Another illegal foreigner who had trouble written all over him:
At the time of his arrest for the New Jersey homicides, the Peruvian construction worker was out on bail for the accused sex abuse over several years of a girl starting when she was five.
In May, Carranza was sentenced for one of his lesser offenses: Newark Triple Murder Suspect Gets 8 Years in Assault (by Kareem Fahim, New York Times, May 13, 2008). That article notes how the one surviving victim of the Newark massacre, who also was the sister of one of those murdered, Natasha Aeriel, is now living in the witness protection program for her safety.
Obviously the police see a large and dangerous gang footprint in the case.
Sometimes even very disturbing multiple deaths are not reported nationally. Such as:
Gustavo Reyes Garcia, the drunk-driving illegal alien who killed them, had been arrested at least 14 times, including four arrests for drunk driving. The killer was absolutely a poster Mexican showing the need for jailhouse enforcement—but the case received wide attention only in the state, where it became an issue in the 2006 campaign for governor. Heather Steffek, the daughter of the victims, spoke out against the non-responsive system that contributed to the deaths of her parents. The good news: the efforts of Steffek and others helped institute 287 (g) in Davidson County to train local police in immigration matters.
And here's a triple-death car crash you probably never heard about unless you read VDARE.com:
Those killed in the three-car pile-up were Stephen Hough and Amy Bartelmey, a young couple planning marriage, and Gary Weiss, a local attorney with a family, along with the inebriated driver Mario Cadena. The Mexican ran a stop sign at a high rate of speed when he crashed into two vehicles and was generously described as having a "troubled past" regarding alcohol.
Cardena had been arrested for drunk driving starting in 2001, did not have a license to drive and apparently had appeared in Judge Julie Cantrell's court on several occasions. But she never called ICE to come get a dangerous chronic drunk driver, even though the deadly conclusion was not unforeseeable and was preventable.
The list goes on:
Luciano Telles had two prior DUI convictions, but was not deported.
Eduardo Morales-Soriano had been held by police in an earlier accident. But he was not deported, and even got a new driver's license—an easy Maryland DL that required no identification.
Amazingly, Julio Villasana, the perpetrator, was a habitual criminal who had been deported 14 times. This case is another enforcement disaster, because Villasana should have been imprisoned after being caught in the U.S. after the first deportation.
According to Scott's mother Emily Moose, her son "didn't have to die"— if the authorities had cracked down on drunk drivers like Ramiro Gallegos, the perpetrator, who had prior arrests for DUI but was never repatriated.
Because of the Gardner case and other preventable illegal alien crimes, Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) tried to enact legislation that would have made one DUI an immediately deportable offense. She reintroduced the Scott Gardner Act in 2007. It has not been considered in the Democrat-run Congress. But it is good to know that at least one member of the House has tried to legislate against illegal alien crime. Unfortunately, Myrick's problem-solving attitude is not the norm among politicians.
The bad news about enforcement is this: Even the arrests of an illegal alien for multiple violent, dangerous or despicable offenses does not guarantee that he will be locked up and properly deported at the end of his incarceration.
Prisons are as much about crime prevention as punishment. But they have not been sufficiently utilized to protect us citizens from the world's criminal diversity.
When crime-inclined foreigners are allowed to run amok, the lives of innocent citizens are made far more hazardous. We pay our taxes for government to maintain public safety first and foremost, but liberal politicians believe that a kumbaya approach would be nicer that punishment.
However, government's primary obligation—to protect the people—has been run off the rails by the presence of millions of lawless foreigners. This has undercut a basic tenet of the American social contract: that laws should apply equally to all. A sanctuary city or state turns that idea on its head by making lawbreaking foreigners a uniquely protected class.
Even liberal hack Willie Brown, the former Assembly speaker and Mayor of San Francisco, described the sanctuary policy as "corrupted" and "hard to defend."
It's rare to get any reliable statistics about illegal alien crime, presumably because the government doesn't want people to know what a rotten job it is doing of protecting them. But an interesting research project has looked under that rock.
"LOS ANGELES — The numbers can look staggering. Nearly 20,000 inmates in California's state prison system have ICE holds on them, meaning there's a good chance they're illegal immigrants. More than 3,000 of those inmates are serving time for murder." [Special Report: Prisons Crowded with Illegal Inmates, KTLA News, Los Angeles, July 18, 2008]
It's long past time to discard the fiction—so useful for the government—that violent crimes at the hands of illegal aliens are rare events. It is vital that Americans are told the larger pattern of the illegal alien crime wave.
As Enoch Powell remarked 40 years ago, "The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils."
The same could certainly be said about law enforcement against immigrant crime.
Brenda Walker (email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two websites, LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She is cheered by the idea that even smug San Francisco is not completely nuts and its denizens would prefer somewhat more traditional law enforcement, if such an idea may be spoken aloud.