There are many examples of convicted criminals who were released into America after completing their sentences instead of being deported, and cop-killer Ezeiquiel Lopez is clearly the sort of habitual lawbreaker who presents a danger to one and all. Lopez should have received a one-way ticket home for his extensive rap sheet, but was allowed to remain and kill Kenosha County Deputy Sheriff Frank Fabiano.
Lopez, 45, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was free at the time of the May shooting, after having been jailed for two prior violent crimes. By law, he should have been deported, but federal immigration authorities didn't know he had been in custody, and state and local police didn't tell them.
The case isn't an exception. Fewer than half the foreigners convicted of crimes in the U.S. — most of whom are in the country illegally — are deported after serving their sentences, according to the Homeland Security Department's inspector general. [U.S. Unable to Deport Most Illegal Immigrants Who Commit Crimes, Bloomberg News 7/6/07]
There is some hope for improvement, however, with increased funding to identify and track criminal aliens.
[Rep. David] Price's legislation, which passed the House June 15, would require the immigration agency to check monthly with the nation's prisons and jails to get an up-to-date number of incarcerated illegal immigrants. Another provision in the legislation would expand a program to deputize local and state police to help identify potential deportees among people they arrest.
Is it possible for such commonsensical crime-fighting legislation to actually be signed into law? We shall see what comes out in the end.