July 2, 2003
It happened again last week. Another illegal alien criminal, with
four previous felony convictions and who had been deported several
times, snuck back into the United States and committed a cold-blooded
When Oceanside, California, police officer Tony Zeppetella stopped
Adrian Camacho for a traffic violation, the alien pulled out a gun and
killed the policeman with three shots. Camacho, a documented gang
member, repeatedly crossed our open southern border.
Saul Morales-Garcia alias Javier Duarte Chavez shot Las Vegas
police officer Enrique Hernandez six times in December. The alien had
previously been deported, but he illegally re-entered the United
Zeppetella had served six years in the Navy and Hernandez eight
years in the Marines. Both left a wife and infant child, and friends
of both officers said their childhood ambition was to be a policeman.
The criminals in both cases were illegal aliens who had been
deported for previous crimes but easily returned to commit more crimes.
How many policemen will die because of our government's failure to stop
illegal entry into the United States?
In June, Enrique Sosa Alvarez was arrested in San Jose and charged
with dragging a nine-year-old girl from her home and raping her
repeatedly for three days before releasing her. A fingerprint check
identified him as David Montiel Cruz who had previously been convicted
of auto theft.
Police don't know for sure who he is, but we do know for sure he
should have been deported after his earlier crime. The ease with which
criminals change their names and come back across the border shows the
folly of accepting Mexico's matricula consular as a valid I.D.
Illegal alien Walter Alexander Sorto was repeatedly picked up for
driver's license violations and for not having insurance, but Houston
police were barred from reporting his illegal status to federal
authorities. In March he and a companion abducted, raped and killed
three Houston women.
Maximiliano Esparza, who raped and killed a Bellevue, Washington
nun last year, had earlier been in a California prison and the court
ordered him deported. But our government didn't deport him; it merely
asked him to sign an I-210, a simple promise to depart, widely known as
a "catch-and-release" document.
Only the brutal gang rape of a Queens, New York, woman in December
by four illegal aliens has produced a governmental response. Three of
those four criminals already had long rap sheets from previous arrests
and should have been deported.
The House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration was spurred to
hold a hearing in February to question New York and Houston officials
about their so-called "sanctuary" ordinances that deter or even
prohibit local police from reporting illegal aliens to federal
authorities. New York was under such an executive order issued in 1989
by then-Mayor Edward Koch.
On May 30, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed Executive
Order 34 permitting city employees to ask people seeking government
services about their immigration status if that is relevant to their
eligibility. Bloomberg said his order was necessary to put the city
into compliance with federal law, and even Koch came out in support of
the Bloomberg order.
Bloomberg's order, however, has limitations. He said in a written
statement that he will never let police or city agencies become an arm
of the INS "under my administration."
But why not? State and local police, of whom we have at least
670,000, are our first line of defense against criminals (not the
minuscule 2,000 federal investigators assigned to immigration
enforcement). But local police are being shackled by city officials.
Twenty cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago,
Miami, Denver, Seattle and Portland, Maine, have adopted "sanctuary"
ordinances banning police from asking people about their immigration
status unless they are suspected of committing a felony, are a threat
to national security, or have been previously deported. But how are
the police going to know if they have previously been deported unless
they first ascertain who they are?
What happens when alien criminals complete their prison terms?
The Justice Department's inspector general admitted that our government
released 35,318 criminal aliens into the general population in 2000,
and nobody knows how many then committed other serious crimes.
If the United States can wage a preemptive war against Iraq, local
police should be allowed to preempt vicious crimes by checking the
citizenship status of persons arrested for minor as well as major
crimes, and then reporting illegals to federal authorities. Attorney
General John Ashcroft should make sure that all police know about his
October 8 speech to the International Association of Chiefs of Police
wherein he promised that federal agents will respond when local
officers notify them of immigration violators.
All sanctuary ordinances should be rescinded. It is the federal
government's constitutional duty to close our borders to illegal entry
and, yes, that means using electronic surveillance and U.S. troops.