Today's article is an examination of the failure of the bail system in the city [An abuse of freedom: Many illegal immigrants out on bail commit another crime or vanish before trial, by Susan Carroll, Houston Chronicle, Nov 17, 2008].
The release of illegal alien criminals on bail is absolutely an invitation to abscond, but judges don't always know the status of accused persons. Sometimes authorities do know the status and let the bad guys go anyway, particularly in sanctuary cities like Houston and San Francisco (see A system's fatal flaws) — and there is no excuse for that.
The Chronicle examined arrest and immigration records for 3,500 inmates who told jailers that they were in the country illegally during a span of eight months starting in June 2007, the earliest immigration records available.The city's criminal alien records only go back to June 2007? That in itself is a jaw-dropper. I suspect that the public furor following the murder of Houston PD Officer Rodney Johnson by a previously convicted illegal alien may have had a part in finally bringing the sanctuary city of Houston a small step closer to sanity by keeping records of their permissiveness.
The cases make you wonder what is going on in Houston when dangerous illegal alien criminals, including child rapists, are freed to walk the streets.
â€? Jose Blanco, a 64-year-old accused of repeatedly sexually molesting a 6-year-old girl in southwest Houston, told jailers when he was arrested in June 2007 that he was in the country illegally. He was charged with indecency with a child and posted $10,000 bail. That charge was dismissed and replaced with more serious allegations: two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Blanco absconded after missing a court date in October 2007 and remains a fugitive.How dreary that law enforcement will not even protect us from the worst of the worst.
â€? Juan Fernando Villalon, 43, told Harris County jailers twice in 2007 he was an illegal immigrant from Mexico â€” both times after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. He posted $10,000 bail in December 2007 and was released from Harris County Jail. In January, while out on bail, he tracked her down and punched her, leading to another felony assault charge. He was arrested in June and is serving a two-year prison sentence.
â€? Arturo Munoz Osorio, 62, was charged in August 2007 with aggravated sexual assault of a child. He told jailers he was in the country illegally when he was booked into jail Aug. 2, 2007. He posted $10,000 bail four days later and missed a September court date. A warrant for his arrest was issued in January.