Hernandez had also been arrested at least 16 times before, making this tragedy an entirely preventable one had the Colorado police been more inquisitive about his citizenship. As we have learned from so many other cases, it doesn't help to have laws on the books to deport if local politicians make sanctuary the policy for law enforcement.
The details of the case show a failure of public safety [ICE holds driver in crash, Denver Post, Sept 7, 2008]:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials sent a faxed detainer on Hernandez, 23, at 12:04 a.m. Saturday, indicating his U.S. citizenship is under question, according to Arapahoe County jail officials and federal authorities.The little boy who was killed as he sat near the window of the Baskin-Robbins was the only child of an immigrant couple from Russia [Family grapples with 3-year-old's death, Summit Daily News, Sept 6, 2008].
Hernandez has been arrested 16 times in five years in Colorado but apparently has never been deported, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.
On Friday, Aurora authorities had indicated they believed he was a U.S. citizen.
Hernandez had been arrested in Denver as recently as July 18 on a traffic stop and charged with numerous crimes, including resisting police, CBI records say. Had he been held on an ICE detainer at that time, he would have been jailed until his case was completed and his sentence served and then deported, a time-consuming process. [...]
But [Aurora police spokesman Lt. John Sopranuk] added that detectives could find no indication that he had ever held a driver's license in California or Colorado.
Also according to CBI records, Hernandez, who has 11 aliases and two listed birth dates, has four listed birth places, including Mexico.
"I loved him so much. He was my only child," Marten's father, Vito Kudlis, 36, said Friday as he wept where his son died near East Mississippi Avenue and South Havana Street.What will it take to force elected officials to protect the public from dangerous foreign criminals who have no right to be here?
Two women in the pickup truck, driver Patricia Guntharp, 49, of Centennial, and Debra Serecky, 51, of Aurora, also were killed. They were turning left into a hamburger restaurant when they were broadsided.
Serecky and Guntharp were "best friends," said a man at his Aurora home who identified himself as Serecky's husband. He said he didn't want to talk. "Her kids don't know yet," he said. "Just give me a day or so."