Wednesday, September 21, 2011



Mandatory E-Verify Bill Passes

Wednesday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee disappointingly voted to preempt the authority of state and local governments to enforce immigration laws during the mark-up of Chairman Lamar Smith's mandatory E-Verify bill (H.R. 2885). The mark-up, which began last Thursday, resulted in the ultimate passage of Smith's bill out of the Committee in a 22-13 vote.

While FAIR has always supported mandatory E-Verify, we also urged members of the Judiciary Committee to strip and/or amend language in H.R. 2885 that would prevent state and local governments from enforcing immigration laws when the federal government refuses to do so. As introduced, Section 6 of the bill (entitled "Preemption") would strip away the authority of state and local governments to go after employers that hire illegal aliens.

In Committee Wednesday afternoon, the amendment to strike Section 6 (Am. #3) was offered by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) in what appeared to be an effort by Democrats to undermine the Chamber of Commerce's support for the bill. The Chamber of Commerce has lobbied hard for the inclusion of language that would bar state and local governments from enforcing immigration laws against employers. However, in a disappointing 16-18 vote, the Committee voted against the Berman Amendment. Democrats largely voted FOR the amendment while most Republicans voted AGAINST the amendment.

Check FAIR's website for the official vote tallies on the Berman amendment and final passage as soon they become available.

How Many Americans Murdered Today By LA RAZA?

In 2006, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) released the results of a study which found that 4,380 Americans are murdered every year by illegal aliens. The study also concluded that 4,745 Americans are killed every year by illegal aliens driving drunk In 2005, the Government Accountability Office announced the results of a study which examined the criminal history of 55,322 illegal aliens who were incarcerated in federal, state, and local institutions during the year 2003. The 55,322 illegal aliens in the study accounted for a total of 459,614 arrests (or eight arrests per illegal alien). Their arrests represented a total of nearly 700,000 criminal offenses (or 13 offenses per illegal alien). 36 percent of those studied had been arrested at least five times previously.
Nov. 6th - mark your calendars


With the holiday season approaching, Americans will be making plans to spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many of us, this holiday season will simply serve as a painful reminder of those who are no longer with us. These Americans did not perish in a foreign war, though they did die violently. They were killed by illegal aliens. For far too long, we have sat by and watched as our fellow citizens die every year at the hands of illegal aliens, while our elected officials simply ignore the ever-growing crisis.

In 2006, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) released the results of a study which found that 4,380 Americans are murdered every year by illegal aliens. The study also concluded that 4,745 Americans are killed every year by illegal aliens driving drunk In 2005, the Government Accountability Office announced the results of a study which examined the criminal history of 55,322 illegal aliens who were incarcerated in federal, state, and local institutions during the year 2003. The 55,322 illegal aliens in the study accounted for a total of 459,614 arrests (or eight arrests per illegal alien). Their arrests represented a total of nearly 700,000 criminal offenses (or 13 offenses per illegal alien). 36 percent of those studied had been arrested at least five times previously.

For those lost, there are no wreath-laying ceremonies, no twenty-one gun salutes nor community gatherings. Those who are left behind truly suffer in silence. However, we the people do not have to wait for soul-less politicians owned by the Chamber of Commerce to remember the fallen. We can and we must create a day of remembrance for those killed by illegal aliens. After much discussion with the founder of the Immigration Tea Party, Rick Oltman, the date of November 6th, a Sunday, was determined to be the best date for the somber occasion.
Americans will be encouraged to reach out to the families of those who to date, have been ignored. We will gather in town squares for candlelight vigils, we will hold pictures of the fallen and we will no longer allow the media to simply look away from this yet-ongoing national tragedy. As the date approaches, more details and ideas will be provided. But, if this national day of remembrance is to be a success. . .it will be up to all of us to make it so.
The following are only a few of the stories which illustrate the human cost of illegal immigration:

-Victim: Oregon State Trooper Bret Clodfelter, 34
On Sept. 30, 1992, Trooper Bret Clodfelter stopped a suspected drunk driver who turned out to be an illegal alien named Francisco Manzo-Hernandez. The drunken driver was traveling with two of his fellow invaders. Trooper Clodfelter handcuffed the driver and placed him in the back seat of his cruiser. As all of the men were drunk, the state trooper offered to drive the two passengers home. For his kindness, Clodfelter was shot in the head four times. All three fled the scene and were captured a few days later. Trooper Clodfelter served with the Oregon State Police for eight years and left behind a wife, son, and daughter. A further tragedy took place a year after the trooper's murder, when his wife Rene, took her own life.

-Victim: Phoenix Police Officer Marc Atkinson, 28
On March 26, 1999, Officer Atkinson was shot and killed by illegal alien Felipe Petrona-Cabana. Officer Anderson was ambushed by Cabana while on routine patrol. Cabana was traveling with two other illegal aliens and carrying a pound of cocaine. An armed citizen named Rory Vertigan witnessed the shooting and helped capture the outlaws. Officer Atkinson served on the Phoenix Police Department for five years. He left behind a wife and an infant son.

-Victim: Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy David March, 33
On April 29, 2002, Deputy March was shot to death by Mexican national Armondo Garcia. Invader Garcia told friends that he wanted to kill a police officer. Garcia saw Deputy March on patrol one evening and pulled over and waited for March to drive past him. As soon as March began to pass, Garcia opened fire. Garcia fled back across the border after murdering March.
For four years, the government of Mexico refused to apprehend or extradite Garcia. In February 2006, U.S. Customs officers arrested Garcia in Mexico. Garcia has since pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Deputy March served with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for seven years and left behind a wife and stepdaughter.

-Victim: Officer Tony Zeppetella, Oceanside Police Department
On June 13, 2003, previously deported gang member Adrian Camacho shot Officer Zeppetella 13 times during a routine traffic stop. Camacho received the death penalty for the murder.
Officer Zeppetella, 27 had been on the job for only one year when he was killed, and left behind a wife and a 6-month-old son.

-Victim: Deputy Brandy Lyn Winfield, Marion County Sheriff's Department
On October 14, 2004, Dep. Winfield was called to investigate a disabled vehicle, and had stopped to talk to two men on the side of the road. One of the men, Juan Carlos Cruz shot and killed him. Cruz who pleaded guilty to the murder has never expressed any remorse for his actions. Dep. Winfield, 29 left behind a wife and two children.

-Victim: Detective Donald Young, Denver Police Department
On May 8, 2005, Det. Young was working at an event hall when he was shot to death in an unprovoked attack by Raul Garcia-Gomez. The Mexican national had already been arrested three times when he murdered Det. Young, but because of Denver's 'sanctuary policy' he was never reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Garcia-Gomez actually worked in a restaurant owned by Denver Mayor Hickenlooper, who has been a longtime champion of sanctuary policies. Det, Young, 43 left behind a wife and three children.

-Victim: Officer Gregory Bailey, California Highway Patrol
On February 25, 2006, while performing a routine traffic stop, Domingo Esqueda hit and killed Officer Bailey. Esqueda's BAC was three times the legal limit. Officer Bailey, 36 was also a member of the California National Guard and had just returned from Iraq when he was killed. He left behind a wife and four children.

-Victim: Deputy Brian Tephord, Broward County Sheriff's Department
On November 12, 2006, Dep. Tephord made a routine traffic stop, while sitting in his patrol car, running the suspects' information when Bahamian nationals Andre Delancey and Bernard Forbes opened fire on him. Dep. Tehord was taken to the hospital, where he died an hour later. Delancey was arrested in 2004 on gun charges and should have been deported, but was allowed to remain in the U.S. Dep. Tephord, 34 left behind a wife and three young children.

-Victim: Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson, 40
On September 21, 2006, Officer Johnson was shot and killed while making a routine traffic stop. The man who murdered Ofc. Johnson was a Mexican national who had been deported seven years earlier. However, President Bush's refusal to defend the Mexican border allowed this human predator to easily re-enter the United States and eventually turn this police officer's wife into a widow. Officer Johnson stopped a commercial vehicle traveling 20 miles over the posted speed limit. The truck was driven by Juan Leonardo Quintero. A co-worker and Quintero's two stepdaughters were also in the vehicle. When Quintero was unable to provide any form of identification, Ofc. Johnson handcuffed him and placed him in the backseat of his patrol car. Once the officer was seated behind the wheel again, Quintero though handcuffed, removed the 9mm handgun concealed in his waistband and began firing at Johnson through the plastic shield separating the front and back seats. Ofc. Johnson was shot in the head five times. He was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to a local hospital. Officer Johnson was a 12 year veteran of the Houston Police Department and a U.S. Army veteran. While serving on the HPD, Johnson received two Lifesaving Awards. He left behind his wife Joslyn (also a police officer) and five children.

-Victim: Deputy Loren Lily, Cobb County Sheriff's Department
On December 31, 2006, illegal alien Joel Camacho Perea drove into Dep. Lily's path on Powder springs Rd., hitting and killing him. Perea then fled the scene, he was later captured and charged with hit-and-run and vehicular homicide. Dep. Lily, 41 who was an 18 year veteran of the Cobb County Sheriff's Dept. had only been married to his wife Jamie for four months when he was killed. He left behind his wife and two godchildren.

-Victims: Tessa Tranchant, 16, and Allison Kunhardt, 17
On March 30, 2007, in Virginia Beach, Va., a Mexican national named Alfredo Ramos slammed into the rear of a vehicle in which Allison Kuhnhardt and Tessa Tranchant, were stopped, while waiting at a red light. Ramos, 22 was traveling at a high rate of speed and was drunk at the time. He actually had nearly a .20 blood-alcohol level and could barely see the police officers in front of him. The two high school students had to be cut from their crumpled car and both later died after being taken to the hospital. Ramos suffered only a busted lip. Though an illegal alien, Alfredo Ramos had been living in Virginia Beach for quite a while and worked at local a Mexican restaurant known as Mi Casita. Ramos had been previously convicted of three separate charges of public intoxication, identity theft, and even a DUI, but continued to live in the area. He speaks only Spanish and required an interpreter at all of his court proceedings. While Ramos had already been convicted of a DUI, Virginia Beach policy dictated that an illegal alien be convicted of three DUI's before police would report them to federal immigration authorities. Virginia Beach police have since taken a more active role in determining the citizenship of those they arrest. Tessa Tranchant's brother Dylan had only been home from Iraq for two weeks, when his sister was killed. Dylan was tasked with identifying his little sister's body. The case gained national fame thanks to the reporting of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.

-Victim: Officer Vincent Owen D'Anna, Flint Police Department
On August 29, 2007, drunk-driving Mexican national Ramon Felix Pineda hit Officer D'Anna who was riding his motorcycle off-duty. Pineda actually dragged Officer D'Anna who was pinned under his car for some distance. Pineda jumped from his car and fled on foot, until he was apprehended by a citizen. It was discovered that Pineda had been living in the U.S. for ten years.
Officer D'Anna was 26-years-old.

-Victim: Officer Nick Erfle, Phoenix Police Department
On September 18, 2007, Officer Erfle stopped a group of men who were obstructing traffic, one of the men, Mexican national Erik Martinez then shot and killed him. Martinez had been deported in 2006 for theft charges, but was able to easily re-enter the U.S. Officer Erfle, 33 left behind a wife and two children.

-Victims: Emilee Olson, 9; Hunter Javens, 9; Jesse Javens, 13; and Reed Stevens, 12
In February 2008, four children were killed in Cottonwood, Minnesota, after their bus was hit by an illegal alien who ran a stop sign.
On a gloomy Tuesday morning, Mexican national Alianiss Nunez Morales went sailing past a stop sign on County Road 24, and right into a school bus carrying 28 Lakeview School students. The bus flipped over on its side, injuring several children and killing four. In addition to the children who were killed, four others were hospitalized at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Another child was transported to the Mayo Clinic. Morales was arrested and charged with four counts of vehicular homicide as well as several misdemeanors. Apparently, she was not even licensed to drive in Mexico. Lt. Mark Peterson of the Minnesota State Patrol told reporters: "She (Morales) doesn't have a drivers' license anywhere that we're aware of." Of course, that was not Morales' first brush with the law. In 2006 she pleaded guilty in a Chippewa County court to driving without a license. Morales told police that she was on her way to work when she caused the fatal wreck. Despite her illegal status, she was employed by Norcraft Cabinetry in Eagan, Minn. The company's website ( displays a section entitled "Code of Business Ethics and Conduct." Within that section, the following statement is made: "All employees must respect and obey the laws of the cities, states, and countries in which we operate." That statement seems more than a bit hypocritical coming from a company which hires illegal aliens!

-Victim: Mackenzie Maddox , 6
In June 2008, Mackenzie was hit and killed while crossing the street in a suburb of Milwaukee. The man behind the wheel was previously-deported Mexican national Jose Rodriguez. As the little girl and her mother crossed the street at S. 84th St. and W. Cleveland Ave. in West Allis, WI, the car driven by Rodriguez came speeding through the intersection, striking both the little girl and her mother Andrea. Mackenzie died at the scene and her mother was taken to Froedtert Hospital, her mother survived her injuries. Rodriguez, worked for an Oak Creek waterproofing business. Only four months before the homicide, Rodriguez who had four prior convictions including a DUI, was identified by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as being in the country illegally and deported to Mexico.

-Victims: Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16
In San Francisco, on June 22, 2008, three members of the Bologna family were gunned down by Salvadoran national and gang member Edwin Ramos. Tony Bologna and his sons Michael, and Matthew were shot to death by Ramos as they sat in their car on a crowded street, in the city´s Excelsior District. Ramos who is a member of the notoriously violent drug gang known as MS-13, shot the Bologna family to death because Tony Bologna had temporarily blocked the car in which Ramos was traveling, as the two cars made their way through an intersection. The Bologna men were returning home from a family barbecue. As a juvenile, Ramos had committed felony attempted robbery and assault. Shortly after the shooting, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, Juvenile Probation Department officials, did not report Ramos to federal immigration authorities for possible deportation because of San Francisco´s stated sanctuary policy.

-Victim: Officer Gary Gryder, Houston Police Department
On June 29, 2008, Officer Gryder was working traffic control when drunken Vietnamese national Hing Trong crashed through a construction barrier and ran him over. Officer Gryder was taken to the hospital where he later died of his injuries. Several witnesses claimed that when Trong was laughing as he was taken into custody.
Officer Gryder was a 23-year veteran of the Houston Police Dept., and left behind a wife and three children.

-Victim: Officer Andrew Widman, Fort Myers Police Department
On July 18, 2008, Officer Widman responded to a domestic disturbance call at a local convenience store, when Cuban national Abel Arango turned on Officer Widman and shot him to death.
The illegal alien who was then shot and killed by other officers, was actually ordered to be deported in 2000. Officer Widman, 30 left behind a wife and three children.

-Victim: Marten Kudlis, 3
On September 4, 2008, 3-year-old Marten sat playing at a table in an Aurora, CO Baskin and Robbins ice cream shop. His mother, Enely, was a few feet away, at the counter, waiting for her son's ice cream. Neither could have known that everything was about to change. An SUV speeding through the intersection of Havana and Mississippi, with Guatemalan national Francis Hernandez at the wheel, slammed into a pickup truck, which was then pushed into the ice cream shop´s window. The toddler was sitting in front of that window, and was sent flying as the truck came crashing through it. Witnesses reported hearing Marten's mother screaming: "Where is my son. . .Where is my son?" According to police, Hernandez was driving 80 mph in a 40 mph zone. Marten was taken to the hospital, but died a short time later due to massive internal injuries. The two women in the pickup truck struck by Hernandez were Patricia Guntharp, 49, and Debra Serecky, 51. They were both pronounced dead at the scene. After the crash, Hernandez jumped from his Chevy Suburban and ran to a Hooters restaurant. He was recently sentenced to 60 years in prison.

-Victim: William Sullo III, 30
In November 2008, Ecuadorian national Jose Maldanado Luzuriaga was arrested for murder. Police allege that he killed Sullo who worked as a bartender at the Salute Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA, because he refused to serve him anymore alcohol and later had him removed from the bar. Luzuriaga allegedly waited outside the bar for Sullo to leave, and upon seeing the bartender exit the building, rammed his F-150 pickup truck into him. He has been charged with criminal homicide, attempted homicide (he nearly ran over another bartender in the parking lot), reckless endangerment, and not possessing a driver's license. Luzuriaga told police that he had been living in the U.S. for five years.

-Victim: Dean Knospe, 71
On January 22, 2009, Mexican national Eulalio Haro was convicted in the 2006 hit and run death of Mr. Knospe. Haro who was driving under the influence, hit Knospe who was riding his motorcycle, and drove away, leaving him to die on the road. Haro had been previously deported after serving a prison sentence for another crash in 1993, but re-entered the country illegally.

-Victims: Lori Donohue and her daughter Kayla, 8
On June 8, 2009, Donohue and her daughter were walking through the parking lot at the Seven Stars School of Performing Arts, in Brewster, NY where Kayla had just finished a dance class, when they were killed by a drunk-driving illegal alien. Guatemalan national Zacaria Conces-Garcia, 35 who had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit, lost control of his Ford F-350 pick-up truck and came speeding through the parking lot, hitting both Lori and Kayla. Little Kayla died at the scene, while her mother died later at Westchester Medical center.
Conces-Garica was charged with vehicular homicide. Lori and Kayla were buried together in the same casket. Andrew Guzi, funeral director at Beecher Funeral Home said: "The family said they wanted Kayla to be wrapped in her mother's arms."

-Victim: Darness Brown, 10
On December 7, 2009, Boynton Beach police arrested Leticia Flores, 28, for the hit-and-run killing of 10-year-old Darness Brown. The girl's 13-year-old sister, Darneisha Ellis, was also injured when Flores allegedly hit their scooter. Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said the girls were riding their scooter on Southwest Ninth Avenue at Southwest Third Street when Flores hit them with her Honda SUV. In what had to be a sickening scene, Darneisha told the police that as her sister was dying next to her, Flores jumped out of her vehicle and screamed at the two girls for being on the street, she then fled the scene. The girl's story was supported by an eyewitness. Jessica Thomas, 24, told police she ran outside when she heard the crash. The affidavit claims: "Once outside, she observed the driver of the vehicle standing outside staring at the injured pedestrian. Thomas then stated that the driver (Flores) got into her vehicle and fled the scene." Police caught up to Flores as she pulled into a convenience store parking lot. She told the arresting officers that she left the accident scene because there were other people who had come to the girls' aid. She also said that she ran because she had no drivers license. A good Samaritan performed CPR on the little girl until paramedics arrived. However, having sustained severe internal damage, she died shortly after arriving at Delray Medical Center.

-Victim: Millard County Deputy Josie Fox, 37
On January 5, 2010, Deputy Fox pulled over the 1995 Cadillac Deville being driven by Roberto Miramontes Roman on U.S. Highway 50. Detectives say that during the stop, Ramon shot Fox slightly above her bullet-proof vest. The following day, acting on a tip from a homeowner, sheriff's deputies in Beaver County, UT, burst into a shed where Mexican nationals Roberto Miramontes Roman and Ruben Chavez Reyes (the passenger) were sleeping, and took both men into custody without incident. Roman, 37, was charged with capital murder, as well as tampering with evidence and faces the death penalty if convicted. Among other offenses, Roman has been caught twice in the past for re-entering this country illegally, the last such arrest and prosecution coming in 2005. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Roman entered the country legally in 1990, but because of numerous criminal convictions, was deported in 1998. Roman is a convicted drug dealer. A witness cooperating with the investigation, claims that he bought drugs from Roman a few hours before he allegedly murdered Deputy Fox.
Deputy Josie Fox, 37, served with the Millard County Sheriff's Office for five years. She leaves behind a husband and two children.

-Victim: Kendrick Owens, 13
On March 8, 2010, Kendrick was walking with a friend along the road in New Caney, TX, when police say the 1998 Dodge Dakota driven by Javier Correa, 28, struck and killed him.
Correa sped away from the scene, and drove to his nearby home. A tow truck driver who saw him hit Owens, followed Correa and alerted police to his location. A few minutes later, Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers arrived and took him into custody. Correa has been charged with intoxication manslaughter, and failure to stop and render aid. According to police, several drivers called 911 to report Correa's reckless driving shortly before he hit the Keefer Crossing Middle School student. Court records show that Correa, had a prior DWI conviction in 2005, as well as a previous conviction for assault causing bodily injury in 2000.

-Victim: Rob Krentz, 58
On March 27, 2010, Arizona rancher Rob Krentz was shot to death near a watering hole on his 35,000-acre ranch. The lifeless body of his faithful dog, also shot to death, was lying beside him.
The man who had worked his family's century-old ranch all of his life, and often provided assistance to those in need of food and water, even though they were illegal aliens, and even though they were trespassing on his property, has now been taken from his family and friends by one of those illegal aliens.

-Victim: Angela Laudun, 33
On May 9, 2010, less than 24 hours after the lifeless body of Angela Laudun was discovered in a remote area, Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Deputies arrested and charged four Mexican nationals with her rape and murder. According to the sheriff's office, around 2:00 a.m., Saturday, the woman voluntarily left a Galliano bar with the men, at which time they drove her to a nearby house. Apparently, Laudin became concerned for her safety and tried to leave, but the men held her down and took turns raping her. At some point, during the ordeal, she was strangled to death.
The men, then allegedly placed the woman's body in their SUV, eventually dumping her in a heavily wooded area. A few hours later, the body was discovered by a man doing some work on his property. Gonzalo Portillo Cortes, 20; Esdras Sanchez Garcia, 21; Louis Nava, 28; and Jose Castille Mareno, 23, all were charged with aggravated rape and first-degree murder. The alleged assailants are Mexican nationals and their interrogations had to be conducted in Spanish.

The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave
Heather Mac Donald


The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave
Heather Mac Donald

Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.
The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These “sanctuary policies” generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.
Such laws testify to the sheer political power of immigrant lobbies, a power so irresistible that police officials shrink from even mentioning the illegal-alien crime wave. “We can’t even talk about it,” says a frustrated LAPD captain. “People are afraid of a backlash from Hispanics.” Another LAPD commander in a predominantly Hispanic, gang-infested district sighs: “I would get a firestorm of criticism if I talked about [enforcing the immigration law against illegals].” Neither captain would speak for attribution.
But however pernicious in themselves, sanctuary rules are a symptom of a much broader disease: the nation’s near-total loss of control over immigration policy. Fifty years ago, immigration policy might have driven immigration numbers, but today the numbers drive policy. The nonstop increase of immigration is reshaping the language and the law to dissolve any distinction between legal and illegal aliens and, ultimately, the very idea of national borders.
It is a measure of how topsy-turvy the immigration environment has become that to ask police officials about the illegal-alien crime problem feels like a gross faux pas, not done in polite company. And a police official asked to violate this powerful taboo will give a strangled response—or, as in the case of a New York deputy commissioner, break off communication altogether. Meanwhile, millions of illegal aliens work, shop, travel, and commit crimes in plain view, utterly secure in their de facto immunity from the immigration law.
I asked the Miami Police Department’s spokesman, Detective Delrish Moss, about his employer’s policy on lawbreaking illegals. In September, the force arrested a Honduran visa violator for seven vicious rapes. The previous year, Miami cops had had the suspect in custody for lewd and lascivious molestation, without checking his immigration status. Had they done so, they would have discovered his visa overstay, a deportable offense, and so could have forestalled the rapes. “We have shied away from unnecessary involvement dealing with immigration issues,” explains Moss, choosing his words carefully, “because of our large immigrant population.”
Police commanders may not want to discuss, much less respond to, the illegal-alien crisis, but its magnitude for law enforcement is startling. Some examples:
• In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.
• A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in 1995 that 60 percent of the 20,000-strong 18th Street Gang in southern California is illegal; police officers say the proportion is actually much greater. The bloody gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant force in California prisons, on complex drug-distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and commits an assault or robbery every day in L.A. County. The gang has grown dramatically over the last two decades by recruiting recently arrived youngsters, most of them illegal, from Central America and Mexico.
• The leadership of the Columbia Lil’ Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.’s MacArthur Park, was about 60 percent illegal in 2002, says former assistant U.S. attorney Luis Li. Francisco Martinez, a Mexican Mafia member and an illegal alien, controlled the gang from prison, while serving time for felonious reentry following deportation.
Good luck finding any reference to such facts in official crime analysis. The LAPD and the L.A. city attorney recently requested an injunction against drug trafficking in Hollywood, targeting the 18th Street Gang and the “non–gang members” who sell drugs in Hollywood for the gang. Those non–gang members are virtually all illegal Mexicans, smuggled into the country by a ring organized by 18th Street bigs. The Mexicans pay off their transportation debts to the gang by selling drugs; many soon realize how lucrative that line of work is and stay in the business.
Cops and prosecutors universally know the immigration status of these non-gang “Hollywood dealers,” as the city attorney calls them, but the gang injunction is assiduously silent on the matter. And if a Hollywood officer were to arrest an illegal dealer (known on the street as a “border brother”) for his immigration status, or even notify the Immigration and Naturalization Service (since early 2003, absorbed into the new Department of Homeland Security), he would face severe discipline for violating Special Order 40, the city’s sanctuary policy.
The ordinarily tough-as-nails former LAPD chief Daryl Gates enacted Special Order 40 in 1979—showing that even the most unapologetic law-and-order cop is no match for immigration advocates. The order prohibits officers from “initiating police action where the objective is to discover the alien status of a person”—in other words, the police may not even ask someone they have arrested about his immigration status until after they have filed criminal charges, nor may they arrest someone for immigration violations. They may not notify immigration authorities about an illegal alien picked up for minor violations. Only if they have already booked an illegal alien for a felony or for multiple misdemeanors may they inquire into his status or report him. The bottom line: a cordon sanitaire between local law enforcement and immigration authorities that creates a safe haven for illegal criminals.
L.A.’s sanctuary law and all others like it contradict a key 1990s policing discovery: the Great Chain of Being in criminal behavior. Pick up a law-violator for a “minor” crime, and you might well prevent a major crime: enforcing graffiti and turnstile-jumping laws nabs you murderers and robbers. Enforcing known immigration violations, such as reentry following deportation, against known felons, would be even more productive. LAPD officers recognize illegal deported gang members all the time—flashing gang signs at court hearings for rival gangbangers, hanging out on the corner, or casing a target. These illegal returnees are, simply by being in the country after deportation, committing a felony (in contrast to garden-variety illegals on their first trip to the U.S., say, who are only committing a misdemeanor). “But if I see a deportee from the Mara Salvatrucha [Salvadoran prison] gang crossing the street, I know I can’t touch him,” laments a Los Angeles gang officer. Only if the deported felon has given the officer some other reason to stop him, such as an observed narcotics sale, can the cop accost him—but not for the immigration felony.
Though such a policy puts the community at risk, the department’s top brass brush off such concerns. No big deal if you see deported gangbangers back on the streets, they say. Just put them under surveillance for “real” crimes and arrest them for those. But surveillance is very manpower-intensive. Where there is an immediate ground for getting a violent felon off the street and for questioning him further, it is absurd to demand that the woefully understaffed LAPD ignore it.
The stated reasons for sanctuary policies are that they encourage illegal-alien crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with cops without fear of deportation, and that they encourage illegals to take advantage of city services like health care and education (to whose maintenance few illegals have contributed a single tax dollar, of course). There has never been any empirical verification that sanctuary laws actually accomplish these goals—and no one has ever suggested not enforcing drug laws, say, for fear of intimidating drug-using crime victims. But in any case, this official rationale could be honored by limiting police use of immigration laws to some subset of immigration violators: deported felons, say, or repeat criminal offenders whose immigration status police already know.
The real reason cities prohibit their cops and other employees from immigration reporting and enforcement is, like nearly everything else in immigration policy, the numbers. The immigrant population has grown so large that public officials are terrified of alienating it, even at the expense of ignoring the law and tolerating violence. In 1996, a breathtaking Los Angeles Times exposé on the 18th Street Gang, which included descriptions of innocent bystanders being murdered by laughing cholos (gang members), revealed the rate of illegal-alien membership in the gang. In response to the public outcry, the Los Angeles City Council ordered the police to reexamine Special Order 40. You would have thought it had suggested reconsidering Roe v. Wade. A police commander warned the council: “This is going to open a significant, heated debate.” City Councilwoman Laura Chick put on a brave front: “We mustn’t be afraid,” she declared firmly.
But of course immigrant pandering trumped public safety. Law-abiding residents of gang-infested neighborhoods may live in terror of the tattooed gangbangers dealing drugs, spraying graffiti, and shooting up rivals outside their homes, but such anxiety can never equal a politician’s fear of offending Hispanics. At the start of the reexamination process, LAPD deputy chief John White had argued that allowing the department to work closely with the INS would give cops another tool for getting gang members off the streets. Trying to build a homicide case, say, against an illegal gang member is often futile, he explained, since witnesses fear deadly retaliation if they cooperate with the police. Enforcing an immigration violation would allow the cops to lock up the murderer right now, without putting a witness’s life at risk.
But six months later, Deputy Chief White had changed his tune: “Any broadening of the policy gets us into the immigration business,” he asserted. “It’s a federal law-enforcement issue, not a local law-enforcement issue.” Interim police chief Bayan Lewis told the L.A. Police Commission: “It is not the time. It is not the day to look at Special Order 40.”
Nor will it ever be, as long as immigration numbers continue to grow. After their brief moment of truth in 1996, Los Angeles politicians have only grown more adamant in defense of Special Order 40. After learning that cops in the scandal-plagued Rampart Division had cooperated with the INS to try to uproot murderous gang members from the community, local politicians threw a fit, criticizing district commanders for even allowing INS agents into their station houses. In turn, the LAPD strictly disciplined the offending officers. By now, big-city police chiefs are unfortunately just as determined to defend sanctuary policies as the politicians who appoint them; not so the rank and file, however, who see daily the benefit that an immigration tool would bring.
Immigration politics have similarly harmed New York. Former mayor Rudolph Giuliani sued all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend the city’s sanctuary policy against a 1996 federal law decreeing that cities could not prohibit their employees from cooperating with the INS. Oh yeah? said Giuliani; just watch me. The INS, he claimed, with what turned out to be grotesque irony, only aims to “terrorize people.” Though he lost in court, he remained defiant to the end. On September 5, 2001, his handpicked charter-revision committee ruled that New York could still require that its employees keep immigration information confidential to preserve trust between immigrants and government. Six days later, several visa-overstayers participated in the most devastating attack on the city and the country in history.
New York conveniently forgot the 1996 federal ban on sanctuary laws until a gang of five Mexicans—four of them illegal—abducted and brutally raped a 42-year-old mother of two near some railroad tracks in Queens. The NYPD had already arrested three of the illegal aliens numerous times for such crimes as assault, attempted robbery, criminal trespass, illegal gun possession, and drug offenses. The department had never notified the INS.
Citizen outrage forced Mayor Michael Bloomberg to revisit the city’s sanctuary decree yet again. In May 2003, Bloomberg tweaked the policy minimally to allow city staffers to inquire into immigration status only if it is relevant to the awarding of a government benefit. Though Bloomberg’s new rule said nothing about reporting immigration violations to federal officials, advocates immediately claimed that it did allow such reporting, and the ethnic lobbies went ballistic. “What we’re seeing is the erosion of people’s rights,” thundered Angelo Falcon of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. After three months of intense agitation by immigrant groups, Bloomberg replaced this innocuous “don’t ask” policy with a “don’t tell” rule even broader than Gotham’s original sanctuary policy. The new rule prohibits city employees from giving other government officials information not just about immigration status but about tax payments, sexual orientation, welfare status, and other matters.
But even were immigrant-saturated cities to discard their sanctuary policies and start enforcing immigration violations where public safety demands it, the resource-starved immigration authorities couldn’t handle the overwhelming additional workload.
The chronic shortage of manpower to oversee, and detention space to house, aliens as they await their deportation hearings (or, following an order of removal from a federal judge, their actual deportation) has forced immigration officials to practice a constant triage. Long ago, the feds stopped trying to find and deport aliens who had “merely” entered the country illegally through stealth or fraudulent documents. Currently, the only types of illegal aliens who run any risk of catching federal attention are those who have been convicted of an “aggravated felony” (a particularly egregious crime) or who have been deported following conviction for an aggravated felony and who have reentered (an offense punishable with 20 years in jail).
That triage has been going on for a long time, as former INS investigator Mike Cutler, who worked with the NYPD catching Brooklyn drug dealers in the 1970s, explains. “If you arrested someone you wanted to detain, you’d go to your boss and start a bidding war,” Cutler recalls. “You’d say: 'My guy ran three blocks, threw a couple of punches, and had six pieces of ID.' The boss would turn to another agent: 'Next! Whaddid your guy do?' 'He ran 18 blocks, pushed over an old lady, and had a gun.' ” But such one-upmanship was usually fruitless. “Without the jail space,” explains Cutler, “it was like the Fish and Wildlife Service; you’d tag their ear and let them go.”
But even when immigration officials actually arrest someone, and even if a judge issues a final deportation order (usually after years of litigation and appeals), they rarely have the manpower to put the alien on a bus or plane and take him across the border. Second alternative: detain him pending removal. Again, inadequate space and staff. In the early 1990s, for example, 15 INS officers were in charge of the deportation of approximately 85,000 aliens (not all of them criminals) in New York City. The agency’s actual response to final orders of removal was what is known as a “run letter”—a notice asking the deportable alien kindly to show up in a month or two to be deported, when the agency might be able to process him. Results: in 2001, 87 percent of deportable aliens who received run letters disappeared, a number that was even higher—94 percent—if they were from terror-sponsoring countries.
To other law-enforcement agencies, the feds’ triage often looks like complete indifference to immigration violations. Testifying to Congress about the Queens rape by illegal Mexicans, New York’s criminal justice coordinator defended the city’s failure to notify the INS after the rapists’ previous arrests on the ground that the agency wouldn’t have responded anyway. “We have time and time again been unable to reach INS on the phone,” John Feinblatt said last February. “When we reach them on the phone, they require that we write a letter. When we write a letter, they require that it be by a superior.”
Criminal aliens also interpret the triage as indifference. John Mullaly a former NYPD homicide detective, estimates that 70 percent of the drug dealers and other criminals in Manhattan’s Washington Heights were illegal. Were Mullaly to threaten an illegal-alien thug in custody that his next stop would be El Salvador unless he cooperated, the criminal would just laugh, knowing that the INS would never show up. The message could not be clearer: this is a culture that can’t enforce its most basic law of entry. If policing’s broken-windows theory is correct, the failure to enforce one set of rules breeds overall contempt for the law.
The sheer number of criminal aliens overwhelmed an innovative program that would allow immigration officials to complete deportation hearings while a criminal was still in state or federal prison, so that upon his release he could be immediately ejected without taking up precious INS detention space. But the process, begun in 1988, immediately bogged down due to the numbers—in 2000, for example, nearly 30 percent of federal prisoners were foreign-born. The agency couldn’t find enough pro bono attorneys to represent such an army of criminal aliens (who have extensive due-process rights in contesting deportation) and so would have to request delay after delay. Or enough immigration judges would not be available. In 1997, the INS simply had no record of a whopping 36 percent of foreign-born inmates who had been released from federal and four state prisons without any review of their deportability. They included 1,198 aggravated felons, 80 of whom were soon re-arrested for new crimes.
Resource starvation is not the only reason for federal inaction. The INS was a creature of immigration politics, and INS district directors came under great pressure from local politicians to divert scarce resources into distribution of such “benefits” as permanent residency, citizenship, and work permits, and away from criminal or other investigations. In the late 1980s, for example, the INS refused to join an FBI task force against Haitian drug trafficking in Miami, fearing criticism for “Haitian-bashing.” In 1997, after Hispanic activists protested a much-publicized raid that netted nearly two dozen illegals, the Border Patrol said that it would no longer join Simi Valley, California, probation officers on home searches of illegal-alien-dominated gangs.
The disastrous Citizenship USA project of 1996 was a luminous case of politics driving the INS to sacrifice enforcement to “benefits.” When, in the early 1990s, the prospect of welfare reform drove immigrants to apply for citizenship in record numbers to preserve their welfare eligibility, the Clinton administration, seeing a political bonanza in hundreds of thousands of new welfare-dependent citizens, ordered the naturalization process radically expedited. Thanks to relentless administration pressure, processing errors in 1996 were 99 percent in New York and 90 percent in Los Angeles, and tens of thousands of aliens with criminal records, including for murder and armed robbery, were naturalized.
Another powerful political force, the immigration bar association, has won from Congress an elaborate set of due-process rights for criminal aliens that can keep them in the country indefinitely. Federal probation officers in Brooklyn are supervising two illegals—a Jordanian and an Egyptian with Saudi citizenship—who look “ready to blow up the Statue of Liberty,” according to a probation official, but the officers can’t get rid of them. The Jordanian had been caught fencing stolen Social Security and tax-refund checks; now he sells phone cards, which he uses himself to make untraceable calls. The Saudi’s offense: using a fraudulent Social Security number to get employment—a puzzlingly unnecessary scam, since he receives large sums from the Middle East, including from millionaire relatives. But intelligence links him to terrorism, so presumably he worked in order not to draw attention to himself. Currently, he changes his cell phone every month. Ordinarily such a minor offense would not be prosecuted, but the government, fearing that he had terrorist intentions, used whatever it had to put him in prison.
Now, probation officers desperately want to see the duo out of the country, but the two ex-cons have hired lawyers, who are relentlessly fighting their deportation. “Due process allows you to stay for years without an adjudication,” says a probation officer in frustration. “A regular immigration attorney can keep you in the country for three years, a high-priced one for ten.” In the meantime, Brooklyn probation officials are watching the bridges.
Even where immigration officials successfully nab and deport criminal aliens, the reality, says a former federal gang prosecutor, is that “they all come back. They can’t make it in Mexico.” The tens of thousands of illegal farmworkers and dishwashers who overpower U.S. border controls every year carry in their wake thousands of brutal assailants and terrorists who use the same smuggling industry and who benefit from the same irresistible odds: there are so many more of them than the Border Patrol.
For, of course, the government’s inability to keep out criminal aliens is part and parcel of its inability to patrol the border, period. For decades, the INS had as much effect on the migration of millions of illegals as a can tied to the tail of a tiger. And the immigrants themselves, despite the press cliché of hapless aliens living fearfully in the shadows, seemed to regard immigration authorities with all the concern of an elephant for a flea.
Certainly fear of immigration officers is not in evidence among the hundreds of illegal day laborers who hang out on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, New York, in front of money wire services, travel agencies, immigration-attorney offices, and phone arcades, all catering to the local Hispanic population (as well as to drug dealers and terrorists). “There is no chance of getting caught,” cheerfully explains Rafael, an Ecuadoran. Like the dozen Ecuadorans and Mexicans on his particular corner, Rafael is hoping that an SUV seeking carpenters for $100 a day will show up soon. “We don’t worry, because we’re not doing anything wrong. I know it’s illegal; I need the papers, but here, nobody asks you for papers.”
Even the newly fortified Mexican border, the one spot where the government really tries to prevent illegal immigration, looms as only a minor inconvenience to the day laborers. The odds, they realize, are overwhelmingly in their favor. Miguel, a reserved young carpenter, crossed the border at Tijuana three years ago with 15 others. Border Patrol spotted them, but with six officers to 16 illegals, only five got caught. In illegal border crossings, you get what you pay for, Miguel says. If you try to shave on the fee, the coyotes will abandon you at the first problem. Miguel’s wife was flying into New York from Los Angeles that very day; it had cost him $2,200 to get her across the border. “Because I pay, I don’t worry,” he says complacently.
The only way to dampen illegal immigration and its attendant train of criminals and terrorists—short of an economic revolution in the sending countries or an impregnably militarized border—is to remove the jobs magnet. As long as migrants know they can easily get work, they will find ways to evade border controls. But enforcing laws against illegal labor is among government’s lowest priorities. In 2001, only 124 agents nationwide were trying to find and prosecute the hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of illegal aliens who violate the employment laws, the Associated Press reports.
Even were immigration officials to devote adequate resources to worksite investigations, not much would change, because their legal weapons are so weak. That’s no accident: though it is a crime to hire illegal aliens, a coalition of libertarians, business lobbies, and left-wing advocates has consistently blocked the fraud-proof form of work authorization necessary to enforce that ban. Libertarians have erupted in hysteria at such proposals as a toll-free number to the Social Security Administration for employers to confirm Social Security numbers. Hispanics warn just as stridently that helping employers verify work eligibility would result in discrimination against Hispanics—implicitly conceding that vast numbers of Hispanics work illegally.
The result: hiring practices in illegal-immigrant-saturated industries are a charade. Millions of illegal workers pretend to present valid documents, and thousands of employers pretend to believe them. The law doesn’t require the employer to verify that a worker is actually qualified to work, and as long as the proffered documents are not patently phony—scrawled with red crayon on a matchbook, say—the employer will nearly always be exempt from liability merely by having eyeballed them. To find an employer guilty of violating the ban on hiring illegal aliens, immigration authorities must prove that he knew he was getting fake papers—an almost insurmountable burden. Meanwhile, the market for counterfeit documents has exploded: in one month alone in 1998, immigration authorities seized nearly 2 million of them in Los Angeles, destined for immigrant workers, welfare seekers, criminals, and terrorists.
For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the employment charade. If immigration officials ever do try to conduct an industry-wide investigation—which will at least net the illegal employees, if not the employers—local congressmen will almost certainly head it off. An INS inquiry into the Vidalia-onion industry in Georgia was not only aborted by Georgia’s congressional delegation; it actually resulted in a local amnesty for the growers’ illegal workforce. The downside to complying with the spirit of the employment law, on the other hand, is considerable. Ethnic advocacy groups are ready to picket employers who dismiss illegal workers, and employers understandably fear being undercut by less scrupulous competitors.
Of the incalculable changes in American politics, demographics, and culture that the continuing surge of migrants is causing, one of the most profound is the breakdown of the distinction between legal and illegal entry. Everywhere, illegal aliens receive free public education and free medical care at taxpayer expense; 13 states offer them driver’s licenses. States everywhere have been pushed to grant illegal aliens college scholarships and reduced in-state tuition. One hundred banks, over 800 law-enforcement agencies, and dozens of cities accept an identification card created by Mexico to credentialize illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. The Bush administration has given its blessing to this matricula consular card, over the strong protest of the FBI, which warns that the gaping security loopholes that the card creates make it a boon to money launderers, immigrant smugglers, and terrorists. Border authorities have already caught an Iranian man sneaking across the border this year, Mexican matricula card in hand.
Hispanic advocates have helped blur the distinction between a legal and an illegal resident by asserting that differentiating the two is an act of irrational bigotry. Arrests of illegal aliens inside the border now inevitably spark protests, often led by the Mexican government, that feature signs calling for “no más racismo.” Immigrant advocates use the language of “human rights” to appeal to an authority higher than such trivia as citizenship laws. They attack the term “amnesty” for implicitly acknowledging the validity of borders. Indeed, grouses Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez, “There’s an implication that somehow you did something wrong and you need to be forgiven.”
Illegal aliens and their advocates speak loudly about what they think the U.S. owes them, not vice versa. “I believe they have a right . . . to work, to drive their kids to school,” said California assemblywoman Sarah Reyes. An immigration agent says that people he stops “get in your face about their rights, because our failure to enforce the law emboldens them.” Taking this idea to its extreme, Joaquín Avila, a UCLA Chicano studies professor and law lecturer, argues that to deny non-citizens the vote, especially in the many California cities where they constitute the majority, is a form of apartheid.
Yet no poll has ever shown that Americans want more open borders. Quite the reverse. By a huge majority—at least 60 percent—they want to rein in immigration, and they endorse an observation that Senator Alan Simpson made 20 years ago: Americans “are fed up with efforts to make them feel that [they] do not have that fundamental right of any people—to decide who will join them and help form the future country in which they and their posterity will live.” But if the elites’ and the advocates’ idea of giving voting rights to non-citizen majorities catches on—and don’t be surprised if it does—Americans could be faced with the ultimate absurdity of people outside the social compact making rules for those inside it.
However the nation ultimately decides to rationalize its chaotic and incoherent immigration system, surely all can agree that, at a minimum, authorities should expel illegal-alien criminals swiftly. Even on the grounds of protecting non-criminal illegal immigrants, we should start by junking sanctuary policies. By stripping cops of what may be their only immediate tool to remove felons from the community, these policies leave law-abiding immigrants prey to crime.
But the non-enforcement of immigration laws in general has an even more destructive effect. In many immigrant communities, assimilation into gangs seems to be outstripping assimilation into civic culture. Toddlers are learning to flash gang signals and hate the police, reports the Los Angeles Times. In New York City, “every high school has its Mexican gang,” and most 12- to 14-year-olds have already joined, claims Ernesto Vega, an illegal 18-year-old Mexican. Such pathologies only worsen when the first lesson that immigrants learn about U.S. law is that Americans don’t bother to enforce it. “Institutionalizing illegal immigration creates a mindset in people that anything goes in the U.S.,” observes Patrick Ortega, the news and public-affairs director of Radio Nueva Vida in southern California. “It creates a new subculture, with a sequela of social ills.” It is broken windows writ large.
For the sake of immigrants and native-born Americans alike, it’s time to decide what our immigration policy is—and enforce it.