DUI illegal kills Marine home on leave from Iraq

DUI illegal kills Marine home on leave from Iraq
4 times legal limit: Mexican driver cited
for earlier accident but charges dropped


Posted: December 2, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

One week after he slammed his Nissan Sentra into a car waiting at a stoplight, killing a U.S. Marine and his female passenger, Eduardo Raul Morales-Soriano, whose blood alcohol level was measured at .32 – four times the legal level in Maryland for intoxication – has been identified as an illegal immigrant by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office in Baltimore.

Marine Cpl. Brian Mathews, 21, of Columbia and his date, Jennifer Bower, 24, of Montgomery Village were killed Thanksgiving night, shortly after 10:00 p.m. when Bower’s Toyota Corolla was hit from behind by Morales-Soriano, 25, of Mexico. Mathews and Bower were on their second date and were planning to take part in the June wedding of friends who had introduced them to each other.

Mathews had served 8 months in Iraq and completed another tour of duty in the Pacific. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and had come home to Maryland for the holidays. He was scheduled to leave the Corps in June 2007.

Mathews’ fellow Marines are upset over his death.

“It’s more anger than anything,” Cpl. Garrett Farris, 21, of Texas, told the Baltimore Examiner. “A guy goes to war and has no problems with that. He comes back to the States, and it’s supposed to be our safe place.”

Cpl. Daniel Robinson, 22, of Texas, Mathews’ squad leader, recalled the Marine’s unflinching performance under fire when their unit walked into an insurgent sniper ambush in Ramadi, Iraq, last year.

“He was beside me the whole time,” said Robinson. “He was giving his team commands. He was a perfectionist Marine, and it really showed. We didn’t have one casualty or one killed in action in the ambush.”

Police said Morales-Soriano’s blood-alcohol level was .32 after the accident, four times Maryland’s legal limit.

“It’s outrageous,” said Caroline Cash, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in the Chesapeake region, noting that this was the highest level she had ever heard of. “I can’t give you a specific number of drinks, and I wish I knew the level where someone could potentially die from alcohol poisoning, because he had to have been close.”

It wasn’t Morales-Soriano’s first auto accident and it wasn’t the first time police had dealt with the landscaper when alcohol was apparently involved.

In February, Columbia police responded to a non-injury accident in a parking lot involving Morales-Soriano. According to police reports, he was “unable to maintain his balance” during a field sobriety test. He was given four citations and allowed to leave the scene of the accident with a relative after he refused to take a Breathalyzer test.

Although Maryland law requires an automatic 120-day forfeiture of a drivers license for refusing the test, Morales-Soriano’s license was not suspended after the accident.

Prosecutors dropped all charges in the February accident due to “weak evidence,” allowing Morales-Soriano to recover his seized license from the police and to avoid a fine and points added to his license. A policeman’s error at the accident scene – returning the form documenting the refusal to take the Breathalyzer test to Morales-Soriano – meant that the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration did not receive the information necessary to suspend his license, Wayne Kirwan, a spokesman for the Howard County state’s attorney told The Baltimore Sun.

Morales-Soriano used a North Carolina driver’s license issued Feb. 5, 2004, to obtain a license in Maryland on July 8, 2005, according to Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. WND has reported on the popularity of North Carolina as a destination for illegal aliens seeking easy access to a driver’s license.

The state’s requirements to obtain a driver’s license are weaker than those of many surrounding states, according to a performance audit of the licensing process.

Court officials in New Jersey, for instance, have complained that the requirements are so weak that busloads of illegal immigrants get on I-95 heading south and drive to North Carolina to obtain licenses fraudulently.

The audit, administered by the Department of Transportation and the Division of Motor Vehicles, said documents considered acceptable for proof of residency in North Carolina are easily forged, or the information provided by applicants is not verified.

Morales-Soriano joins a growing list of illegal immigrants who have not only ignored U.S. immigration laws, but state laws against drinking and driving as well, killing innocents on the highways in the process.

When Jose Trejo Encino lost control of his 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix late one night last October in Madison County, Tenn., killing one of his passengers and injuring another, he at least had the presence of mind to throw the cans of beer he had from the car into the woods before the police arrived, according to affidavits entered in court from witnesses.

Encino, 27, who admitted to deputies at the scene “to drinking a 12-pack of beer earlier in the night,” is now facing charges of vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence after the one-car accident that killed Sergio Lopez, 18, and injured Hugo Trejo, 20.

According to affidavits from deputies who investigated the wreck, “a strong odor of an intoxicant about his person” was detected. Alcohol is believed to have contributed to the accident.

In neighboring North Carolina, Hispanic drivers were involved in 76,000 of the drunken-driving arrests made last year even though they make up only 10 percent of the population. The state has seen five deaths in the last two weeks in accidents caused by illegal aliens.

“These victims would be alive if our border was secure and our immigration laws were enforced,” William Gheen, president of Americans For Legal Immigration, told WRAL-TV of Raleigh. “It’s clear across the country – there’s a direct connection between drinking and driving deaths and the illegal alien community. (We need to) crack down on illegal aliens in this state and do everything we can to prevent these preventable deaths.”

While not dismissing the problem of drinking and driving, Tony Asion, an ex-cop and current director of public-safety programs for El Pueblo, a Hispanic advocacy group, said the focus on the national origin of the offenders is misplaced.

“Anytime a Latino does anything that’s wrong, it’s going to come down on the rest of us,” he told WRAL-TV. “It’s not a Latino issue. It’s a drunk-driving issue, and that’s what we have to deal with.”

El Pueblo, along with the North Carolina Highway Patrol, has launched a multimedia education campaign to warn Spanish-speaking drivers of the dangers of drinking and driving.

The problem is that many young Hispanic men use alcohol to deal with boredom and cultural differences, said Asion.

“They’re learning how to drive. They’re learning how to survive,” he said.

As WND reported, Asion’s program came too late for 3 young people – two North Carolina State University students and a 16-year-old – who were killed by an illegal alien, who allegedly was driving drunk, and already had a record of crime in the U.S.

Authorities say Pastor Rios Sanchez, 55, is expected back in a North Carolina court on Nov. 15 on charges he killed Helen Meghan Hughes, 22, of Summerville, S.C., Jennifer Carter, 18, of Jacksonville, N.C., and Hughes’ stepbrother, 16-year-old Ben Leonard.

The two women were students at North Carolina State and all three were returning to Raleigh recently when a car crossed the center line about five miles from Sanford and collided head on with Hughes’ station wagon. Two died instantly and Leonard died after being taken to Central Carolina Hospital, Highway Patrol Trooper K.T. Hill said of the Oct. 27 crash.

Sanchez is being held on $75,000 bail and an immigration detainer on three counts of involuntary manslaughter and he also may face charges of carrying fraudulent residency card, immigration authorities told the Raleigh News-Observer.

Authorities also said Sanchez had pleaded guilty to driving without a license a year ago. And court records show he was accused of a similar count in March and another in April. One count was dismissed and Sanchez failed to show up for court on the other.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of traffic citations of people who are illegal immigrants, and as a practical matter (immigration) is not notified of each one of these,” Tom Lock, the prosecutor, said.

It was only a short time ago a twice-deported illegal alien with a record of drug arrests was told he was facing jail time. Marcos Ramos Medina, 35, who was found to have at least eight aliases and falsely identified himself at his first court appearance, escaped serious injury on Aug. 4, 2005, when his car swerved several times across the center line, causing a tractor-trailer rig to jackknife in Yakima, Wash. His car then plowed head-on into the 2000 Lexus driven by Peggy Keller, 53, dean of distance education at Yakima Valley Community College, killing her at the scene. As WND reported, Medina’s first trial came to an abrupt end in August 2006 when Russell T. “Todd” Sharpe, a six-year Washington State Patrol officer, testified that the suspect fought against his restraints while being taken to the hospital for a blood alcohol test and refused to answer questions. The case against the Mexican national was declared a mistrial because his constitutional right to remain silent had been violated. It took a second jury only 30 minutes to find Medina guilty.

Then in 2005, WND reported, Scott Gardner of Mount Holly, N.C., was on vacation and heading to the coast with his family when his station wagon was struck by a truck driven by Ramiro Gallegos, an illegal alien charged three times previously with drunk driving. Gardner, the father of two young children, was killed. Gallegos of Mexico was charged with second-degree murder and driving while impaired.

In Chattanooga, Tenn., a court heard the case of an illegal alien convicted of running her car into a house and killing a 91-year-old woman. A judge ordered Vitalina Bautista Vargas deported. Amazingly, the family of the victim remained compassionate and merciful. “They wanted one of the conditions to be that she learn how to drive,” prosecutor Jay Wood said. Prosecutor Wood said federal officials insisted that she be deported. He said as a convicted felon, she will not be allowed to apply to re-enter the country for at least 10 years. Louella Winton, the victim, was asleep in her bed when the car crashed into her house. The vehicle knocked the victim through the bedroom wall and threw her against the wall of the house next door.

But driving under the influence may be only the tip of the problem of illegal aliens on U.S. highways.

There also was the case of Victor Manuel Caballero. Even though he entered the country illegally from Mexico five years ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that he could collect damages for being hurt in an auto accident from a special state fund set up to benefit those hurt in accidents with uninsured drivers. Caballero would hitch a ride to his computer job with a co-worker, 19-year-old Ricardo Martinez. One morning, Martinez fell asleep at the wheel, veered off the road and struck a parked tractor trailer. Martinez walked away from the accident, but Caballero, who also was illegal, was badly hurt. The hospital costs of $38,300 were paid by a charity fund, while his successful lawsuit found he was eligible for up to $15,000 for “pain and suffering.”

Little caution, critics say, is being exercised when it comes to preventing mayhem on America’s highways as the country witnesses record high numbers of unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured drivers – millions of whom are illegal aliens like Medina.

While no one – in or out of government – tracks traffic accidents caused by illegal aliens, the statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests many of last year’s 42,636 road deaths involved illegal aliens.

A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found 20 percent of fatal accidents involve at least one driver who lacks a valid license. In California, another study showed that those who have never held a valid license are about five times more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than licensed drivers.

Statistically, that makes them an even greater danger on the road than drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked – and nearly as dangerous as drunk drivers.

While police do not routinely ask drivers about their immigration status, New York’s Rockland County District Attorney Michael Bongiorno – who has prosecuted more than 20 felony cases this year involving people accused of both unlicensed driving and drunken driving – estimated that two-thirds of about 70 drivers charged in Spring Valley with misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated and unlicensed driving were illegal immigrants.

“Unfortunately, the undocumented drivers here do that (drive unlicensed) more than the natives,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Wendy Hahn. “If they’ve been involved in an incident, they flee because they don’t want to deal with immigration.”

Federal immigration officials typically do not get involved when an undocumented person is charged with drunken driving or driving without a license, said Bongiorno and police officials around the country.

While the Census Bureau estimates there are 9 million illegal aliens living in the U.S., other sources put the figure closer to 20 million. Running parallel to those estimates are the best guesses on the number of unlicensed motorists – 17 million.

In addition, the states with the most illegal aliens also have the most unlicensed drivers. Those states are also in the lead for the most hit-and-run accidents, according to reports issued by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the Pew Hispanic Center. California ranks at the top with 24.1 percent of the known 11.1 million illegal aliens.

The proportion of unlicensed drivers varies widely state-by-state, with 6 percent in Maine and 23 percent in New Mexico.

Many of those advocating allowing illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses make the case by suggesting most unlicensed drivers are so because they cannot get a license.

In California, for instance, the Legislature is considering several proposals that would help illegal immigrants drive. One of them is a bill that would prevent police from seizing vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers. Senate Bill 626 by Sen. Nell Soto, D-Ontario, would apply to all drivers who have never obtained a California license. Opponents point out those favoring the bill are the same people promoting licenses for illegals.

‘Under current state law, police can seize vehicles for up to 30 days if the driver is unlicensed. Under the new bill, if the driver never had a license, the vehicle could be seized for only 24 hours; those who had licenses suspended or revoked would still have the vehicles impounded for up to 30 days.

Who are the people who have never had a license? Disproportionately, critics of the bill say, they are illegal immigrants.

In the Maryland Legislature, Delegate Luiz R.S. Simmons, D-Montgomery, is drafting legislation that would stiffen penalties for unlicensed drivers. His bill requires them to appear before a judge and would make them subject to up to 90 days in jail for a first offense and as much as a year for a second offense. In addition, cars belonging to unlicensed drivers could be impounded for up to a month or forfeited if they were involved in an accident that caused an injury.

Though there is absolutely no government data on the identity of Maryland’s unlicensed drivers – or those in any other state – Simmons’s bill has been attacked by immigrant rights’ activists, who say it targets Latinos.

Whether they are mostly illegal aliens or not, one thing is certain – there are more unlicensed drivers on the road than ever before. So prevalent is the trend that many police departments have cut back on sobriety checkpoints in favor of checkpoints to check the documentation of drivers.

A WND statistical study of police reports of dozens of such checkpoints around the country show that close to 10 percent of drivers stopped are either unlicensed or have suspended licenses. Even at sobriety checkpoints, far more drivers are found to be unlicensed than intoxicated.

While some say the answer to the illegal alien-unlicensed driver crisis is permitting illegals to get licensed, others say the solution is decreasing the number of illegal immigrants living in the United States.

Rules determining who is eligible for a driver’s license vary by state. Eleven states do not require legal immigration status to obtain a license. The rest do require proof of legal status, either by state law or the documents required to apply. The eleven states are: Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. Tennessee and Utah have introduced a separate “certificate for driving” for state residents who cannot prove they are lawfully present in the United States. But Tennessee stopped issuing the certificates in February after reports that undocumented immigrants were coming from out of state and using false documents to apply.

The Real ID act, scheduled to take effect in 2008, will prohibit all states from issuing licenses to illegal aliens or the licenses will not be accepted as identification for federal purposes.

In addition to being unlicensed, most illegal alien drivers are uninsured – making the accidents they cause even more injurious. Statewide, more than one-third of California drivers are without insurance, according to the California Department of Insurance. In some low-income and minority neighborhoods, the rate is over 50 percent. In San Jose, for instance, 55 percent of all drivers on the road have no auto insurance. In some parts of Los Angeles, Imperial, San Diego and Alameda counties, the rate reaches as high as 90 percent.

The situation isn’t much better in other states with high populations of illegals. In Texas, 27 percent of drivers are uninsured. In Florida, the estimates are between 15 and 25 percent. In Colorado, 32 percent.

There are no official statistics about highway carnage and illegal aliens. But there is an increasing awareness among law enforcement officials – and victims of traffic accidents – that illegal aliens are playing a disproportionate role in the road mayhem.

According to surveys conducted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Hispanics believe it takes 6-8 drinks to affect driving, while Americans, indoctrinated for years against drunk driving, believe it takes just 2-4 drinks.

In 2001, MADD reported 44.1 percent of California’s drunk driving arrests were of Hispanics, while, officially, they made up just 31.3 percent of the population.

Should airport security procedures include ethnic and religious profiling?

Should airport security procedures include ethnic and religious profiling?

by Daniel Pipes
Costco Connection
November 2006
http://www.danielpipes.org/article/4122

President George W. Bush refers to the enemy in the war on terror as “Islamic radicalism.” Official U.S. policy sees the country at war with those Muslims who support an extremist, jihadistic, misogynist, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, totalitarian form of Islam.

Yet, whatever the president says at the loftiest levels of policymaking, the post-9/11 traveler boarding an airplane in the United States encounters something quite different: an insistence that everyone is equally suspect. Department of Transportation guidelines, for example, forbid security personnel from relying on “generalized stereotypes or attitudes or beliefs about the propensity of members of any racial, ethnic, religious, or national origin group to engage in unlawful activity.”

Fortunately, some movement away from this rigid approach has taken place. In late 2003, the Transportation Security Administration introduced a passenger profiling system known as Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques. It now operates in twelve U.S. airports and uses behavioral pattern recognition to focus on extremely high levels of stress, fear and deception.

This marks a step in the right direction, but well-trained terrorists reveal neither stress nor fear, implying the need for a deeper probe. Toward this end, some analysts, like Michael A. Smerconish in his 2004 book, Flying Blind: How Political Correctness Continues to Compromise Airline Safety Post 9/11, propose that counterterrorism focus on race and ethnicity, and specifically on “young Arab male extremists.”

Focusing on observable traits like Arabic names or a Middle Eastern appearance is easily done. But, like nervousness, these are crude criteria that do not get to the heart of the problem. Also, looking exclusively for young Arab males will inevitably spur terrorists to rely on older, female, non-Arab operatives.

Instead, law enforcement must focus on the motivations behind violent acts. Radical Islam inspires Islamist terrorism. All terrorist jihadists are Muslim, using intelligence to focus on the 1 percent of the American population that is Muslim is both logical and inevitable.

FROM THE KORAN ITSELF…”HEIL HITLER” Now Upgraded to “ALLAH AKBAR?”

FROM THE KORAN ITSELF…
“HEIL HITLER” Now Upgraded to “ALLAH AKBAR?”

You may already know about this one: O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. [al-Ma’idah 5:51.11]

But did you know that there are 123 verses in the Quran concerning fighting and killing for the cause of Allah? Here are but a few passages:

-Muslims are encouraged to be wholly occupied (Sura 2:273) with fighting for Allah’s cause.

Allah will give “a far richer recompense to those who fight for him” (Sura 4:96).

Regarding infidels (unbelievers), they are the Muslim’s “inveterate enemies” (Sura 4:101). Muslims are to “arrest them, besiege them and lie in ambush everywhere” (Sura 9:5) for them. They are to “seize them and put them to death wherever you find them, kill them wherever you find them, seek out the enemies of Islam relentlessly” (Sura 4:90). “Fight them until Islam reigns supreme” (Sura 2:193). “Cut off their heads, and cut off the tips of their fingers” (Sura 8:12).

If a Muslim does not go to war, Allah will kill him (Sura 9:39). He is to be told, “the heat of war is fierce, but more fierce is the heat of Hell-fire” (Sura 9:81).

A Muslim must “fight for the cause of Allah with the devotion due to him” (Sura 22:78)

Muslims must make war on the infidels (unbelievers) who live around them (Sura 9:123).

Muslims are to be “ruthless to unbelievers” (Sura 48:29).

A Muslim should “enjoy the good things” he has gained by fighting (Sura 8:69).

A Muslim can kill any person he wishes if it be a “just cause” (Sura 6:152).

Allah loves those who “fight for his cause” (Sura 61:3).
Anyone who fights against Allah or renounces Islam in favor of another religion shall be “put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off alternative sides” (Sura 5:34).

Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him. Sahih Al-Bukhari (9:57)

Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. (Koran 9:5)

Take him and fetter him and expose him to hell fire. (Koran 69:30-37)

I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips of them. (Koran 8:12)

They should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides. (Koran 5:33)

Know that paradise is under the shades of swords. Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 4 p55

And Speaking of Paradise…

“There will be “gushing fountains” and everyone “shall recline on jeweled couches face to face, and there shall wait on them immortal youths with bowls and ewers and a cup of purest wine.” Suras (or chapters) 55 and 56 of the Quran.

“Therein are bashful virgins whom neither man nor jinnee will have touched before … virgins as fair as corals and rubies,” sura 55. A few lines later, you might remind them of “virgins chaste and fair … they shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets.”

“The smallest reward for the people of Paradise is an abode where there are 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine, and ruby, as wide as the distance from Al-Jabiyyah [a Damascus suburb] to Sana’a.'”

It will be the day, God willing, you spend with the women of paradise…Know that the gardens of paradise are waiting for you in all their beauty, and the women of paradise are waiting, calling out, “Come hither, friend of God.”

For much more on “PARADISE… A Better World?” click http://www.masada2000.org/BetterWorld.html

45,000 terror-threat illegals released into U.S. population

45,000 terror-threat illegals released into U.S. population

As far as terror threats in the general population go, Arafat Nijmeh has plenty of company. From WND, with thanks to Ruth King:

WASHINGTON – Half of the 91,516 illegal aliens from terror-sponsoring countries and those of “special interest” apprehended at the border between 2001 and 2005 were released into the U.S. population, according to a report by the inspector general’s office of the Department of Homeland Security.The report, “Detention and Removal of Illegal Aliens,” released earlier this year with little fanfare or attention, suggests about 85 percent of those aliens – potentially the most dangerous – would abscond and likely never be seen by authorities again.

Acknowledging the danger such aliens pose to the national security, the report cites a DHS official testifying that terrorist organizations “believe illegal entry into the U.S. is more advantageous than legal entry for operations reasons.”

Budget shortfalls were the explanations for why some 45,008 potential terrorists were released by authorities over a period of nearly five years after Sept. 11, 2001. The budget crunches prompted immigration officials to place strict limits on detention bed space, recruitment, training, travel and expansion of enforcement programs, the report explained.

Crime & the Illegal Alien

Crime & the Illegal Alien
The Fallout from Crippled Immigration Enforcement

June 2004

By Heather Mac Donald

Download the .pdf version


Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where crime from these lawbreakers is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of gang members from a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have snuck back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, shootings, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should an LAPD officer arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is the officer who will be treated as a criminal by his own department — for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.

The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement is replicated in immigrant-heavy localities across the country — in New York, Chicago, Austin, San Diego, and Houston, for example. These so-called “sanctuary policies” generally prohibit a city’s employees, including the police, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.

Sanctuary laws are a testament to the political power of immigrant lobbies. So powerful is this demographic clout 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 near total loss of control over immigration policy. Fifty years ago, immigration policy may have driven immigration numbers, but today the numbers drive policy. The non-stop increase of legal and illegal aliens is reshaping the language and the law to dissolve any distinction between legal and illegal immigration 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 crime problem feels like a gross social faux pas, something simply not done in polite company. And a police official, asked to violate this powerful taboo against discussing criminal aliens, will respond with a strangled response—sometimes, as in the case of a New York deputy commissioner with whom I spoke, disappearing from communication altogether. At the same time, millions of illegal aliens work, shop, travel, and commit crimes in plain view, utterly confident 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 illegal law-breakers. In September 2003, the force had arrested a Honduran visa violator for seven terrifying rapes. The previous year, Miami officers had had the suspect, Reynaldo Elias Rapalo, 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. “We have shied away from unnecessary involvement dealing with immigration issues,” explains Detective Moss, choosing his words carefully, “because of our large immigration 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 bloody 18th Street Gang in California is illegal (estimated membership: 20,000); police officers say the proportion is undoubtedly much greater. The gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant force in California prisons, on complicated drug distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and is responsible for an assault or robbery every day in Los Angeles County. The gang has dramatically expanded its numbers over the last two decades by recruiting recently arrived youngsters, a vast proportion
illegal, from Central America and Mexico.

 

• The leadership of the Columbia Li’l 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. Frank “Pancho Villa” Martinez, a Mexican Mafia member and 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 Los Angeles City Attorney recently requested a judicial injunction against drug trafficking in Hollywood. The injunction targets the 18th Street Gang and, as the press release puts it, the “non-gang members” who sell drugs in Hollywood on behalf of the gang. Those “non-gang members” are virtually all illegal Mexicans, smuggled into the country by a trafficking ring organized by 18th Street bigs. The illegal Mexicans pay off their transportation debt to the gang by selling drugs; many soon realize how lucrative that line of work is and stay in the business.

The immigration status of these non-gang “Hollywood dealers,” as the City Attorney calls them, is universally known among officers and gang prosecutors. But the gang injunction is 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 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),* he would be severely disciplined for violation of Special Order 40, the city’s sanctuary policy.

[ * In 2003, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was broken up into three bureaus in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This Backgrounder focuses on ICE, which is responsible for, among other things, enforcement of federal immigration laws in the interior of the United States.]

 

A Safe Haven
The ordinarily tough-as-nails former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates enacted Special Order 40 in 1979 — in response to the city’s burgeoning population of illegal aliens — showing that even the most unapologetic law-and-order cop is no match for immigration demographics. The order prohibits officers from “initiating police action where the objective is to discover the alien status of a person.” In practice, this means that the police may not even ask someone they have arrested about his immigration status until after criminal charges have been entered. They may not arrest someone for immigration violations. Officers certainly may not check a suspect’s immigration status prior to arrest, nor may they notify ICE about an illegal alien picked up for minor violations. Only if an illegal alien has already been booked for a felony or multiple misdemeanors may they inquire into his status or report him to immigration authorities. The bottom line: a cordon sanitaire between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities that creates a safe haven for illegal criminals.

Los Angeles’ sanctuary law, and all others like it, contradicts everything that has been learned about public safety in the 1990s. A key policing discovery of the last decade was the “great chain of being” in criminal behavior. Pick up a law-violator for a “minor” crime, and you’ll likely 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. “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 officer accost him, and only for that non-immigration-related reason. The officer cannot arrest him for the immigration felony.

Such a policy is extraordinarily inefficient and puts the community at risk for as long as these vicious immigration-law-breakers remain free. The department’s top brass brush off such concerns. No big deal if you’re seeing 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 arresting a violent felon, it is absurd to demand that the woefully understaffed LAPD ignore it.

 

The Impact of Sanctuary Policies
The stated reason for sanctuary policies is to encourage illegal alien crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with the police without fear of deportation and to encourage all illegal aliens to take advantage of city services like health care and education (to whose maintenance illegals contribute little). There has never been any empirical verification whether sanctuary laws actually increase cooperation with the police or other city agencies. And no one has ever suggested not enforcing drug laws, say, for fear of intimidating drug-using crime victims. But in any case, the official rationale for sanctuary rules could be honored by limiting police utilization of immigration laws to some subset of immigration violators: deported felons, say, or repeat criminal offenders whose immigration status is already known to the police.

The real reason why cities prohibit their police officers and other employees from immigration reporting and enforcement is, like nearly everything else in immigration policy, the numbers. The population of illegal aliens and their legal brethren has grown so large that public officials are terrified of alienating them, even at the expense of annulling the law and tolerating avoidable violence. In 1996, a breathtaking Los Angeles Times expose on the 18th Street Gang, which included descriptions of innocent bystanders being murdered by laughing cholos [gang members], disclosed for the first time 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 they had suggested violating some shocking social taboo. 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 said firmly.

But immigrant pandering, of course, 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 distress cannot compare to 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 more closely with the INS would give officers another means to get gang members off the streets. Trying to build a case for homicide, 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’ life at risk.

Six months later Deputy Chief White had changed his tune: “Any broadening of the policy gets us into the immigration business. It’s a federal law enforcement issue, not a local law enforcement issue.” Interim Police Chief Bayan Lewis told the Los Angeles Police Commission: “It is not the time. It is not the day to look at Special Order 40.”

Nor will it ever be the time to reexamine sanctuary policies, as long as immigration numbers continue to grow. After the brief window of opportunity in 1996 to strengthen the department’s weapons against gangs, Los Angeles politicians have only grown more adamant in their defense of Special Order 40. After learning that police officers in the scandal-plagued Rampart Division had cooperated with the INS to try to remove murderous gangbangers from the community, local politicians threw a fit. They criticized district commanders for even allowing INS agents into their station houses. The offending officers were seriously disciplined by the department.

Immigration politics have had the same deleterious effect in New York. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani sued all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend the city’s sanctuary policy against Congressional override. A 1996 federal law declared that cities could not prohibit their employees from cooperating with the INS. Oh yeah? said Giuliani; just watch me. He sued to declare the 1996 federal ban on sanctuary policies unconstitutional, and though he lost in court, he remained defiant to the end. On September 5, 2001, his hand-picked charter revision committee ruled that New York may still require that its employees keep immigration information confidential to preserve trust between immigrants and government. Six days later, several former visa-overstayers conducted the most devastating attack on the city and the country in history.

The 1996 federal ban on sanctuary laws was conveniently forgotten in New York 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. Three of the illegal aliens had already been arrested numerous times by the NYPD for such crimes as assault, attempted robbery in the second degree, criminal trespass, illegal gun possession, and drug offenses. The department had never notified the INS.

Unfortunately, big city police chiefs are by now just as determined to defend sanctuary policies as the politicians who appoint them. They repudiate any interest in access to immigration law, even though doing so contradicts the universally respected theory of broken windows policing. (Sentiment is quite otherwise among the rank-and-file, who see daily the benefit that an immigration tool would bring.)

Overwhelmed by Numbers
But the same reality that drives cities to enact sanctuary policies — the growing numbers of legal and illegal immigrants — also cripples federal authorities’ own ability to enforce the immigration law against criminals. Even if immigrant-saturated cities were to discard their sanctuary policies and start enforcing immigration violations where public safety demands it, it is hard to believe that ICE could handle the additional workload. Perennially starved for resources by Congress and the executive branch, ICE lacks the detention space to house the massive criminal alien population and the manpower to manage it. In fact, little the INS and its successors have done over the last 30 years — above all its numerous displays of managerial incompetence — can be understood outside of the sheer overmatch between the agency and the size of the population it theoretically oversees.

In theory, ICE is supposed to find and deport all aliens who have entered the country illegally through stealth or fraudulent documents. (Illegal entry could in theory also be prosecuted as a misdemeanor by a U.S. Attorney prior to the alien’s deportation, but such low-level prosecutions virtually never occur.) In fact, immigration authorities have not gone after mere status violators for years. 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 an immigration judge, their actual deportation) has forced the agency to practice a constant triage. The bar for persuading managers to detain someone has risen ever higher.

Even in the days when the INS and the police could cooperate, the lack of detention space defeated their efforts. Former INS criminal investigator Mike Cutler worked with the NYPD catching Brooklyn drug dealers in the 1970s. “If you arrested someone who you wanted to detain, you’d go to your boss and start a bidding war,” Cutler recalls. “He’d say: ‘Whaddya got?’ 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 unavailing. “Without the jail space,” explains Cutler, “it was like the Fish and Wildlife Service — you’d tag their ear and let them go.”

Triage. Currently, the only types of aliens who run any risk of catching the attention of immigration authorities are, in ascending order of interest: illegal aliens who have been convicted of a crime; illegal aliens who have reentered the country following deportation without explicit approval of the attorney general (a felony punishable by up to two years in jail); illegal aliens who have been convicted of an “aggravated felony” — a term of art to refer to particularly egregious crimes; and illegal aliens who have been deported following conviction for an aggravated felony and who have reentered. (Aggravated felons become inadmissible for life, whereas mere deported aliens may apply for a visa after 10 years). A deported aggravated felon who has reentered may be sentenced for up to 20 years. The deported Mara Salvatrucha gang members that LAPD officers are seeing back on the streets fall into the latter category: they are aggravated felons who have reentered, and hence are punishable with 20 years in jail.

To other law enforcement agencies, triage by immigration authorities often looks like complete indifference to immigration violations. An illegal alien who has merely been arrested 14 times for robbery, say, without a conviction will draw only a yawn from an ICE district director. In practice, the only real sources of interest for immigration authorities are aggravated felons and returned deported aggravated felons.

“Run Letters.” Lack of resources also derails the conclusion of the deportation process. If a judge has issued a final order of deportation (usually after years of litigation and appeals), ICE in theory can put the alien right on a bus or plane and take him across the border. It rarely has the manpower to do so, however. Second alternative: put the alien in detention pending actual removal. Again, no space and no staff in proportion to demand. In the early 1990s, for example, 15 INS officers were responsible for 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 is what is known in the business as a “run letter” — a notice that immigration authorities send to a deportable alien requesting that he kindly show up in a month or two to be deported, when maybe the agency would have some officers and equipment to take custody of him. The results are foreordained: in 2001, 87 percent of deportable aliens who received “run letters” disappeared, a number that was even higher — 94 percent — if the alien was from a terror-sponsoring country.

John Mullaly, a former homicide detective with the NYPD, shakes his head remembering the INS’s futile task in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, where Mullaly estimates that 70 percent of the drug dealers and other criminals were illegal. “It’s so overwhelming, you can’t believe it,” he explains. “The INS’s workload was astronomical, beyond belief. Usually, they could do nothing.” Were Mullaly to threaten a thug in custody that his next stop would be El Salvador unless he cooperated, the criminal just laughed, knowing that immigration authorities would never show up. The message sent to the drug lord and to the community could not be more clear: this is a culture that can’t enforce its most basic law of entry. And if policing’s broken windows theory is correct, the suspension of one set of rules breeds more universal contempt for the law.

ICE’s capacity deficit gives an easy out to police departments when a known immigration violator commits a terrible crime. Testifying before Congress about the Queens rape by the illegal Mexicans, New York’s criminal justice coordinator, John Feinblatt, peevishly 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,” Feinblatt told the House immigration subcommittee in February 2003. “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.”

No Answer. However inadmirable his failure to take responsibility, Feinblatt nevertheless was describing a sad fact of life: Even when police agencies do contact immigration authorities about illegal aliens, they rarely get a response. Federal probation authorities in Brooklyn, who currently have 148 illegal alien felons on their active caseload, have given up trying to coordinate with ICE on deportation. “Our thinking is: these guys should be removed ASAP,” says a probation supervisor. “Should the taxpayer be paying for our services to monitor, investigate, and provide services for individuals who are not citizens and should not be here at all?” But the supervisor’s sense of urgency is not answered at the other end of the line. “You send the paperwork over to the INS, and you never hear back,” explains the federal probation official. “We used to have a person assigned to us from the agency, who told us to not even bother sending over forms.”

Immigration numbers stymied a program to ensure that criminal aliens were in fact deported after serving time in federal and state prisons. The Institutional Hearing Program, begun in 1988, was supposed to allow the INS to complete deportation hearings while a criminal was still in state or federal prison, so that upon his release, he could be immediately deported without taking up precious detention space. But the process immediately bogged down due to the magnitude of the problem — in 2000, for example, nearly 30 percent of federal prisoners were foreign-born. The agency couldn’t find enough pro bono attorneys to represent criminal aliens (who have extensive due process rights in contesting deportation), and so would have to request continuance after continuance for the deportation hearings. Securing immigration judges was a difficulty as well. 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 rearrested for new crimes in short order.

Conflicting Missions
Resource-starvation is not the only reason immigration authorities fail to act against criminal aliens, however. The INS and its successor agencies are creatures of immigration politics, no less than immigrant-saturated cities and states. Until it was broken up, the agency had two conflicting missions: handing out immigration “benefits” such as permanent residency, citizenship, and work permits, on the one hand, and enforcing the immigration laws against border trespassers, illegal workers, counterfeiters, and felons, on the other. Local politicians are usually only concerned about the benefits mission: the more green cards issued in their districts, the happier the ethnic voters. So INS district directors were traditionally under enormous pressures to divert enforcement resources into benefit distribution and away from criminal or other investigations. In the late 1980s, for example, the INS refused to participate in an FBI task force against Haitian drug trafficking in Miami, for fear it would be criticized for engaging in “Haitian-bashing.” In 1997, the Border Patrol announced it would no longer accompany Simi Valley, Calif., probation officers on home searches of illegal-alien-dominated gangs. The change in policy followed protests from Hispanic activists, after a highly-publicized raid netted nearly two dozen illegals. Crowed an attorney with the Ventura County Mexican-American Bar Association: The Border Patrol’s reversal showed that it “can be at times responsive to the desires of all segments of a community.”

The disastrous Citizenship USA project of 1996 was a classic instance of the politically-driven sacrifice of enforcement responsibilities to benefit distribution. Citizenship applications from resident aliens had skyrocketed in the first half of the 1990s, due in part to the increasingly likely prospect of welfare reform. Most welfare reform proposals promised to disqualify non-citizens from the dole. In response, welfare-consuming immigrants were applying for citizenship in record numbers to preserve their eligibility for a monthly government check. The Clinton Administration sensed a potential political windfall from hundreds of thousands of newly-naturalized, permanently-welfare-qualified citizens, and ordered that the naturalization process be radically expedited. Due likely to relentless administration pressure, a 1996 audit showed that 99 percent of applications in New York contained processing errors while 90 percent contained errors in Los Angeles. As a result, tens of thousands of aliens with criminal records, including for murder and armed robbery, were naturalized.

 

Extended Stay
Immigration numbers also lie behind the daunting array of due process weapons that criminal aliens deploy to defeat their deportation. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a powerful force on Capitol Hill. It has won an elaborate set of trial rights for criminal aliens that savvy attorneys can use to keep them in the country indefinitely. Federal probation authorities in Brooklyn have two illegal aliens on their caseload — a Jordanian and an Egyptian with Saudi citizenship — who look “ready to blow up the Statue of Liberty,” according to a probation official, but, at the time of this writing, the department couldn’t get rid of them. The Jordanian had been caught fencing stolen government checks, such as Social Security checks and tax refunds; now he sells phone cards, which he uses himself to make untraceable calls. The Saudi’s offense consisted in using a fraudulent Social Security number to get employment — a puzzlingly unnecessary scam, since he receives large sums of money 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. Ordinarily such a minor offense would not be prosecuted, but the government used whatever it had. Currently, the Saudi changes his cell phone every month.

Probation overseers desperately want to see the men deported, but the two Middle Easterners have hired lawyers and are staging lengthy deportation fights. “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 executives are watching the bridges.

 

No Fear of Enforcement. Finally, the overmatch between the immigration authorities and the numbers of illegal immigrants mars what should be the happy end of the criminal alien saga: their deportation. Even where the ICE successfully nabs and deports 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 farm workers and restaurant dish-washers who overpower U.S border control every year carry in their wake hundreds or thousands of brutal assailants and terrorists who use the same smuggling industry as the “good” illegal aliens, and who benefit from the same irresistible odds: there’s so many more of them than the Border Patrol.

The government’s inability to keep out criminal aliens is part and parcel of its inability to patrol the border, period. The reasons are the same in both cases: numbers-driven politics and acute institutional incapacity. As a result, for decades, the INS had as much effect on the migration of millions of illegal aliens into the country as a can tied to the tail of a tiger. And the immigrants themselves, despite the boilerplate image in the press of hapless aliens living fearfully in the shadows, seem to regard immigration authorities with all the concern of an elephant for a flea.

Fear of immigration enforcement is not in ready evidence among the hundreds of illegal day laborers who hang out on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, 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 Ecuadorian. Like the dozen Ecuadorians and Mexicans on his particular corner, Rafael is hoping that an SUV seeking carpenters for a $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 only spot in the country where the government devotes significant resources to preventing illegal immigration, is regarded as a minor inconvenience by the day laborers. The odds, they realize, are overwhelmingly in their favor. Miguel, a reserved young Mexican with a 12-year-old son back in Mexico, crossed the border at Tijuana three years ago with 15 other people hidden in a truck. Border Patrol spotted the truck, but the outcome was predetermined. There were six officers to 16 illegals. Five were caught; the rest, including Miguel, got away. “But even if you’re caught,” he reflects, “they don’t do nothing. You only get one night in jail.”

In illegal border crossings, you get what you pay for, according to Miguel. “If you want your family to come safely, you pay money. If you want to go over the mountain, pay little.” Miguel’s wife was flying in from Los Angeles that very day, but he was blasé about it, not even knowing at which airport she was arriving. “Because I pay, I don’t worry.” (The bill was $2,200 this time.) If you try to shave on the fee, however, the coyotes will abandon you at the first problem. But hasn’t security gotten tighter at the border recently? I ask him. “You can always find another way,” he shrugs. “Everything’s possible. Para nosotros, es facil.”

 

Jobs Magnet
The only way to dampen illegal immigration and its attendant train of criminals and terrorists, short of revolution in the sending countries or an impregnably militarized border, is to remove the jobs magnet. As long as migrants believe they can easily get work, they will find ways to evade border controls. But the enforcement of laws against illegal labor is at the absolute bottom of the government’s priorities. In 2001, only 124 agents in the entire country 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. Interior enforcement generally, whose mandate includes not just the worksite, but also document fraud, alien smuggling, and criminals, has always been laughably underfunded compared to border operations, a situation that has been likened to a football team’s placing its entire defense on the line of scrimmage. Currently less than 2 percent of immigration resources go for interior enforcement, and a mere 2,000 agents police the entire country beyond the borders — responsible for deporting some 10 million illegal aliens, eradicating thousands of counterfeiters, finding hundreds of thousands of scofflaw employers, and breaking up smuggling rings.

Lack of Legal Tools. But even were ICE to allocate resources to worksite investigations commensurate to the magnitude of the violations, not much would change, because its legal tools are so weak. That’s no accident. Though it is against the law to hire illegal aliens, a coalition of libertarians, business lobbies, and left-wing advocates has consistently blocked the prerequisite to making that ban enforceable: a fraud-proof form of work authorization. Libertarians have erupted in hysteria at such proposals as a toll-free number that would allow employers to confirm Social Security numbers with the Social Security Administration, hurling out comparisons to concentration camp tattoos and godless Communism. Hispanics warn just as stridently that giving employers a means to verify work authorization would result in invidious discrimination against Hispanics — implicitly conceding the point that there are vast numbers of Hispanics working illegally.

The result? Hiring practices in illegal-immigrant-saturated industries are a form of play-acting: Millions of illegal workers pretend to present valid documents, and thousands of employers pretend to believe them. The law imposes no obligation on the employer to verify that a worker is actually qualified to work, and as long as the proffered documents are not patently phony, the employer will nearly always be insulated 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. Fraud now pervades every aspect of the immigration system. In one month alone in 1998, the INS seized nearly two million counterfeit documents in Los Angeles, destined for workers, welfare seekers, criminals, and terrorists.

For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the employment charade. If immigration authorities ever do conduct an industry-wide investigation, which will at least net the illegal employees, if not the employers, local congressmen from the affected areas will almost certainly call it off. An INS inquiry into the Vidalia onion industry in Georgia in the late 1990s was not only aborted by Georgia’s Washington 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.

In 1999, the sheer numbers of illegal aliens again dictated immigration policy, rather than vice versa. The INS announced a “major shift” of strategy away from worksite enforcement to alien smuggling, alien absconders, and document fraud. The agency was merely rationalizing the real: An official told The Washington Post that the new priorities reflected an “inability within current resources to deal with the undocumented population in the U.S.” And the revised strategy was little more than window-dressing: as long as the worksite remains wide open, alien smuggling, document fraud, and the attendant influx of criminal absconders will continue at record rates.

 

Blurring the Line
The continuing surge of illegal and legal migrants is changing American politics, demographics, and culture in ways that have yet to be grasped. But one of the most profound changes is already visible: the breakdown of the distinction between legal and illegal entry. Everywhere illegal aliens receive free public education and free medical care at taxpayer expense. In 13 states, they can get drivers licenses, according to Mexican officials. States everywhere are being pushed to grant in-state college tuition and scholarships to illegal aliens; many accede. One hundred banks, over 800 law enforcement agencies, and dozens of cities accept an identification card created by Mexico to credential illegal Mexican aliens in the United States. The Bush Administration has given its blessing to this “matricula consular” card, over the strenuous protest of the FBI. The massive security loopholes in the card, warns the FBI, make it a natural for money launderers, immigrant smugglers, and terrorists. Border authorities have already caught an Iranian man sneaking across the border with a Mexican matricula card, as well as an alien smuggler with seven cards, each with his picture and a different name.

But the rhetoric of contemporary immigration is as startling as its legal attributes. Hispanic advocates have successfully pushed the idea that to distinguish between a legal and illegal resident is an act of irrational bigotry, not a consequence of the law. “These are hate, wedge issues,” cried Dolores Huerta, a regent of the University of California, as the California State Senate repealed a recently-enacted law giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens. In signing the ill-fated law, former California governor Gray Davis had explicitly renounced any distinction between illegal and legal immigrants. (An eruption of populist rage against the measure catapulted Arnold Schwarzenegger into the governor’s mansion, but ethnic advocates are having the last laugh, since Schwarzenegger, having repealed the bill, has already promised a revised version.) Arrests of illegal aliens inside the border are now inevitably accompanied by protests, often led by the Mexican government, and those protests will inevitably feature signs calling for No mas racismo. It is the government that is constantly on the defensive now for enforcing the law, not those who break it.

The editor of Los Angeles’s biggest Spanish-language daily, La Opinion, reflected recently that the Virgin Mary would never have imagined that her followers would find themselves discriminated against not for the color of their skin, but for their lack of documents. But it is not “discrimination” to
experience the legal consequences of breaking the immigration laws; it is to encounter the inevitable results of one’s freely-chosen actions.

Immigrant advocates now use the nebulous language of “human rights” to trump such trivia as citizenship laws. The apprehension of some illegal aliens in San Diego and San Juan Capistrano, Calif., last summer triggered a huge outcry, well-summed up by Christian Ramirez of the American Friends Service Committee: The arrests showed that “the current administration wants nothing to do with human rights,” he said. “They are simply establishing a state of repression in Latino communities and other immigrant communities across this nation.” In other words, no law enforcement agency has any legitimacy in enforcing the fundamental laws of entry.

 

“No Person is Illegal.” The term “amnesty” is under attack, since it implicitly acknowledges the validity of borders even as it dissolves them. “Amnesty — there’s an implication that somehow you did something wrong and you need to be forgiven,” grouses Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D- Ill.). It’s the border that is illegal, not the crossing of it without permission. “No person is illegal,” Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney told parishioners on a day of protests in California against the repeal of the driver’s license bill. That same day, a march for amnesty arrived at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, under the banner: “Messengers for the dignity of a people divided by a border” (“mensajeros por la dignidad de un pueblo dividido por la frontera”). New York’s Monsignor Josu Iriondo greeted the marchers, and repeated their call for the elimination of the border between Mexico and the United States.

As with every contemporary protest movement, the push for open borders is replete with the language of entitlement and plaintive calls for respect and dignity. Illegal aliens and their advocates speak loudly about what they think the United States owes them, not vice versa. “I believe they have a right . . . to work, to drive their kids to school,” said California Assemblywoman Sarah Reyes after the license bill repeal. The organizer of an economic boycott in California against the repeal, Nativo Lopez of the Mexican-American Political Association, says that the action is about “justice, dignity, and respect.” An immigration agent says that people he’s stopped in the past “got in your face about their rights, because our failure to enforce the law emboldens them.”

Expect the push to dissolve any distinction between citizens, legal aliens, and illegal aliens to accelerate. Joaquin Avila, a UCLA Chicano Studies professor and former legal advisor to the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), argues that to deny non-citizens the vote, especially in the many California cities where they constitute the majority, is a form of apartheid. Voting laws allow an ethnic minority (presumably white Californians) to impose their will on the majority, he says.

Taken to its logical conclusion, this movement against the law of borders and citizenship points towards the dissolution of national sovereignty itself. Sen. Alan Simpson observed in the early 1980s that 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.”

 

Conclusion
The most striking political constant in the last four decades of immigration policy is the overwhelming popular desire to rein in immigration, and the utter pulverization of that desire by special interests. No poll has ever shown that Americans want ever-more open borders, yet that is exactly what the elites deliver year after year. If the 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.

But the push to annul the laws of immigration does not even help its purported beneficiaries. Sanctuary policies contribute to the terrorization of immigrant communities. By stripping the police of what on occasion may be their only immediate tool to remove a psychopathic gangster from the streets, sanctuary policies leave law-abiding immigrants defenseless against the social and financial devastation of crime and handicapped in the march up the economic ladder. Anyone who cares about their future success should want every possible law enforcement means deployed to protect them. And immigration optimists, who argue that assimilation into American ideals is proceeding just fine and dandily, should take another look: In many immigrant communities, assimilation into gangs seems to be outstripping assimilation into civic culture. Toddlers are being taught to flash gang signals and to 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 who works at a New York association for Mexican empowerment. Such pathologies are only exacerbated when the first lesson of American law learned by immigrants 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 sequelae of social ills.”

Taking immigration law seriously may make a start in combating these worrisome trends. The police should be given the option of reporting and acting on immigration violations, where doing so would contribute to public safety. The decision about when to use immigration rules will be a matter of discretion, but discretion is at the heart of all wise policing. The CLEAR Act, now before Congress, would help by clarifying the authority of local law enforcement to cooperate with immigration authorities. The police should have access to federal databases of immigration violators, an idea that the administration is slowly acting upon, against great opposition from the usual suspects.

And then the successor agencies of the INS should be given the resources they need. More detention space should be built, or contracted through private providers, so that deportable aliens are not released back to the streets. The missing link in workforce law — a fraud-proof work ID — must be created, and then employers must be held responsible for demanding it.

Advocates for amnesty argue that it is the only solution to the illegal alien crisis, because enforcement clearly has not worked. They are wrong in their key assumption: Enforcement has never been tried. Amnesty, however, has been tried — in both an industrial-strength version in 1986, and in more limited doses ever since — and it was a clear failure. Before we proceed again to the ultimate suspension of the nation’s self-definition, it is long past time to make immigration law a reality, not a charade.


 Heather Mac Donald is a John M. Olin fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal. This Backgrounder is adapted from Ms. Mac Donald’s article, “The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave” in the Winter 2004 edition of City Journal.

The Legend of Arizona

The Legend of Arizona

By The Editors

We have many disagreements with our friends on the open-borders Right, but we have to give them credit for sheer doggedness. There is not an election that is immune from their inventive interpretations. Every one, it turns out, is a mandate for more immigration, for “earned citizenship” and the like. If a pro-immigration Republican just barely hangs on in a primary against an underfunded, single-issue restrictionist; if a restrictionist loses an election at the same time everyone else in his party, regardless of his position on immigration, is losing; if a restrictionist Republican wins his own reelection but cannot get an open-borders Republican to win the following election; if voters try their hardest to kill official bilingualism: In each and every case, the voters have shown that they favor mass immigration.

For years, the immigration lobby has pointed to California as an example of the supposed dangers of Republicans’ standing in the way of the immigration-driven transformation of the country. This tale depends on a series of obvious misreadings of the recent political history of California. Last week, our friends acquired a new myth. The 2006 elections were, on their telling, a decisive rejection of immigration control.

The myth is being spread by veteran pro-immigration conservatives such as Fred Barnes, Michael Barone, Linda Chavez, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page, along with Tamar Jacoby and Arlen Specter. The White House, an easy sell for this kind of thing, appears to have bought it, judging from clues in the news coverage of the appointment of Sen. Mel Martinez as general chairman of the Republican National Committee.

The centerpiece of this myth is Arizona, where enforcement hardliner J. D. Hayworth lost his reelection bid and the likeminded Randy Graf lost his campaign to succeed a Republican congressman. Sometimes the spinners throw in Rick O’Donnell’s loss of a marginal Republican seat in Colorado.

Time for a reality check. This year’s anti-Republican wave was indiscriminate, washing away such immigration hawks as John Hostettler and Charles Taylor, but also such amnesty supporters as Mike DeWine and Lincoln Chafee. In other places, Republicans were able to withstand the wave in part because they opposed amnesty: Chris Shays was the only Republican congressman to survive in Connecticut, and Pete King kept his seat in New York.

Some of the victorious Democrats favored enforcement first. James Webb, whose victory tipped the Senate, is one of them. Another is Hostettler’s opponent, Brad Ellsworth. Harold Ford, who stunned everyone by nearly winning a Senate seat from Tennessee, opposed amnesty.

Even in Arizona, Sen. Jon Kyl, who voted against the open-borders bill, beat a Democratic candidate who supported it. Arizona voters also approved, by wide margins, three ballot measures cracking down on illegal immigration, plus one declaring English the state’s official language. The Journal noted only the last of these, writing that it “suggests to us that what Americans want isn’t so much restricted immigration as it is a culture of assimilation.” We continue to find the Journal’s breezy confidence that continuous mass immigration, much of it from a single source, can coexist with a “culture of assimilation.” But the state’s voters were clearly also saying that they want tougher policies against illegal immigration.

A final piece of mythology concerns the Hispanic vote. Exit polling found that 30 percent of Hispanics voted for Republican House candidates, down from 38 percent in the 2002 midterms. To see the significance of this drop, it has to be put in context. The percentage of white voters who picked Republicans fell from 58 to 51 percent over the same period. Hispanics just followed the national trend.

It is probably true that Graf’s monomaniacal focus on immigration contributed to his defeat; unlike some others, we are willing to acknowledge facts inconvenient to our political desires. But the balance of the evidence suggests that restrictionism can be a politically valuable element of a conservative platform.

Senator Martinez was a lead sponsor of the amnesty bill that the Senate approved earlier this year, without the votes of most Republicans. His immigration views appear to be part of the rationale for his selection. A Center for Immigration Studies analysis of the bill, extrapolating from the experience of the 1986 amnesty, conservatively estimated that more than 14 million people would gain legal status and move toward citizenship because of the measure’s various amnesty provisions —— and this estimate didn’t even take into account the bill’s huge increases in future legal immigration.

So the White House’s answer to last week’s losses appears to be to pass a bill that most Republicans dislike, in the service of a policy that will import more Democratic voters to the country. Get ready for a long spell in the minority.

FBI warns Indian authorities that US-bound planes from India could be hijacked

FBI warns Indian authorities that US-bound planes from India could be hijacked

More jihad in the skies contemplated. “Airports put on high alert after FBI warning,” from the Times of India, with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:

NEW DELHI/BANGALORE: Major airports in the country have been put on high security alert after the US intelligence agency FBI told Indian authorities that US-bound planes from India could be hijacked.In a message, conveyed through diplomatic channels, FBI referred to an email originating from India and received in US on Saturday evening. Indian agencies immediately forwarded the text of the email to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, which, in turn, alerted airports in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. All US-bound flights are being closely monitored at these airports.

A senior home ministry official said on Sunday: “Airports across the country are already on high alert after an anonymous letter was received in Trichy last week, threatening Al-Qaida attacks on south Indian airports. We decided to continue it further by giving special attention to international airports.”

Razablanca

Razablanca

By Julia Gorin

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Hispanic-supremacist group La Raza, or “The Race,” has been making more and more headlines with the advent this year of pro-illegal-immigrant rallies. Among the chants that can be heard as people march for lawlessness is “La Raza unida nunca sera vencida!” or “A united [Hispanic] race will never be defeated!” The Race openly declares its intentions to “reconquer” the American Southwest, demands that illegals be allowed to get drivers’ licenses and free in-state tuition and health care, that state agencies and ballots be bilingual, and that the post-9/11 immigration laws be rolled back so that more illegals and terrorists can get in. The Race has been courted by both Democratic and Republican politicians, and actress Eva Longoria has hosted its award ceremonies.
Given these current socio-political realities–along with our earnest, ongoing dialoguing with representatives of a religion that seeks to establish a worldwide caliphate in which everyone is either Muslim or dead, isn’t it about time we reached out to the other supremacists in our midst, whom society has shunted aside–the white supremacists, skinheads, neo-Nazis, KKK and other affiliates? Why do we discriminate against them? Why the double standard? It’s long past time to bring them into the political fold and establish dialogue. After all, wouldn’t the same logic apply to them that applies to immigrants and Muslims: when people are marginalized, it fuels their sense of otherness, and their anger festers. Besides, talk about traditionally disadvantaged products-of-their-environment who need a self-esteem boost! Yet in the case of redneck racists, the words “poor and ignorant” are said with contempt rather than a self-blaming social responsibility to “help.” So why is one dismissed out of hand while others are “dialogued” to death — especially when the intention of the former is to preserve the country rather than to undermine it?
Apparently, the problem for white supremacists is that they don’t propound their views in Spanish or Arabic, and to Americans, primitive ideas are more palatable when uttered in a foreign language–including Dios or Allah instead of God or Jesus. To be less of a pariah, the disorganized white nationalist groups should unite under an umbrella organization and call itself Raza Blanca, which sounds much more romantic than KKK or Stormfront. They’d also have an easier time espousing their views if they converted to Islam, as former Klansman Clinton Sipes, now Abdus Salam, has done. After all, consider how much more unsettled we are by blonde, blue-eyed 13-year-old twins who sing pop songs about white pride than we are about Arabic toddlers modeling belt-bombs. Lynx and Lamb Gaede, the duo that forms “Prussian Blue,” say they’re proud of being white and “want to preserve [their] race.” That was enough to earn their talents a label as “preaching hate,” while songs about black power or suicide bombers are indulged and tolerated, respectively. Can anyone recall a talk show host laying into an Islamist with the zeal that Donny Deutsch went after the Prussian Blue girls on his CNBC show in December? No, we are infinitely more freaked out by a pair of back-woods-minded white girls than we are by children holding placards reading “Death to Israel and America” and “Islam will Dominate.”
On that subject, at least for the white nationalists it can be said that they cherish their children–a fundamental value they share with us normal folk. And whatever perverse ideas are included in their patriotism, at least they’re patriotic (though this could be what doomed them from the start with the arbiters of good taste). Meanwhile, loving America is more than can be said for illegal (and plenty of today’s other) immigrants, or for the fastest-growing religion, whose adherents have already modified the Pledge of Allegiance at some of their schools.

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Even more uncomfortably, there’s truth to at least part of what the white racists say. Note the deafening silence that greeted the 1998 film “American History X.” It was the most provocative but least talked-about drama of the year, not least of all because of statements like the following from the protagonist, played by Ed Norton: Today’s immigrants “don’t give two s—- about this country. They come here to exploit it, not to embrace it. I mean, millions of white European-Americans came here and it flourished, you know, in a generation.” Norton’s Derek Vinyard lives in Venice Beach, CA, where black and Latino gangs have taken over. His father was shot and killed while putting out a fire at a Compton drug den by, Derek surmises, “a drug dealer who probably still collects a welfare check.” Referring to the illegal immigrants who would become today’s entitled marchers, Derek says, “This state spent $3 billion on services for those who had no right to be here in the first place….Our border policy is a joke. So is anyone surprised that south of the border they’re laughing at us, laughing at our laws?” Though the recovering-racist protagonist adds these facts up to a vile outlook and destructive solution, Derek describes America not inaccurately as being “raped.”
And so it is that while the founder and principal of a taxpayer- and La Raza-funded Los Angeles charter school sneers at the idea of racial integration and tells non-Spanish-speaking reporters “I would be very careful before I came down here,” and while Virginia’s Saudi Academy produces aspiring presidential assassins, and Fresno State holds separate “Latino commencements,” we’re more disturbed by John Birch schools and Bob Jones University.
The co-sponsor of the charter school Academia Semillas Del Pueblo is the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MEChA, which Michelle Malkin has described as operating “an identity politics indoctrination machine on publicly subsidized college and high school campuses nationwide.” Its members have rioted in Los Angeles and “editorialized that federal immigration ‘pigs should be killed, every single one’ in San Diego, and they refer to themselves as a bronze people with a bronze culture on a bronze continent. The group even has a twist on the old Marxist axiom “From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs”: “For the race, everything; outside the race, nothing.” Dismissed as a social club, the group’s activists have directed racist verbal attacks against every non-Latino group, including blacks, Asians and Jews.
Speaking of which, why is white supremacists’ anti-Semitism considered more specious than Islamic, Hispanic or black anti-Semitism when it’s the least active? In fact, if one had to compare, anti-Semitism by the “minorities” is worse, considering it’s also a betrayal–of a people who for generations have bent over backwards to improve the lives of these “disadvantaged groups,” something that Jews haven’t done for the Maya Angelou-dubbed “po’ white trash.”
So it’s time to ask ourselves: Should there really be a singled-out race “for whom racial pride is a social taboo,” as Wendy McElroy describes it? Why do we find white racism to be so much more unsettling than racism by the Other? Is it self-hatred? Or are we just pumping up people whom we truly do find inferior — thereby tacitly buttressing the premise of the white supremacists?
Rather than alienate the white power crowd and relegate them to the peripheries of society, shouldn’t we be accommodating their views as we do the others’, and trying to explain to them that there are more constructive ways to fight for one’s country? Why pile on when skinheads probably already feel impotent and upstaged by Islamic terror, bewildered how these third worlders managed to hijack their movement, along with the swastika and Hitler salute.
Given the taxpayer-subsidized racial war against “the Anglos,” as La Raza and MEChA have declared it, it’s time to stop discriminating against our embarrassing white brothers. In fact, maybe it’s time to give the Others the superiority contest they’ve been gunning for — and see who’s for real, and who’s just bluffing to cover up an inferiority complex. That would be worth buying front-row seats to.

“Expect Conyers and Pelosi to kick open the doors of Congress to Islamists from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other militant groups”

“Expect Conyers and Pelosi to kick open the doors of Congress to Islamists from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other militant groups”

As noted here at Jihad Watch before the election.

“John Conyers And The “Expect Conyers and Pelosi to kick open the doors of Congress to Islamists from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other militant groups”,” from Investor’s Business Daily, with thanks to all who sent this in:

Congress: The likely new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says he’s just fighting bigotry in leading a Democrat jihad to deny law enforcement key terror-fighting tools. But he is in the pocket of Islamists.John Conyers, son of a leftist Detroit union activist, represents the largest Arab population in the country. His district includes Dearborn, Mich., nicknamed “Dearbornistan” by locals fed up with cultural encroachment and terror fears from a steady influx of Mideast immigrants.

Conyers, who runs an Arabic version of his official Web site, does the bidding of these new constituents and the militant Islamist activists who feed off them. They want to kill the Patriot Act and prevent the FBI from profiling Muslim suspects in terror investigations. They also want to end the use of undisclosed evidence against suspected Arab terrorists in deportation proceedings.

And the 77-year-old Conyers has vowed to deliver those changes for them.

“The policies of the Bush administration have sent a wave of fear through our immigrant communities and targeted our Arab and Muslim neighbors,” he growls.

He’ll soon be in a position to act on his promises. And he has the full backing of the expected speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wants to criminalize FBI and Customs Service profiling of Muslim terror suspects.

“Since Sept. 11, many Muslim Americans have been subjected to searches at airports and other locations based upon their religion and national origin,” she said. “We must make it illegal.”

Conyers, a lawyer by trade, last decade pushed through a bill to help stop what he called “DWB,” driving while black. He dubs post-9/11 profiling “flying while Muslim.”

Pelosi has also promised Muslims she’ll “correct the Patriot Act,” one of the most valuable tools the FBI has in ferreting out jihadist cells lurking in Muslim communities.

Conyers is one of the top recipients of donations from the Arab-American Leadership PAC. And not surprisingly, he has a long history of pandering to Arab and Muslim voters.

During the first Gulf War, for instance, Conyers fought FBI outreach efforts in the Arab and Muslim community in Detroit that were designed to gather intelligence on potential cells and protect the home front. Conyers and other Detroit-area Democrats at the time, David Bonior and John Dingell, threatened to hold hearings unless the FBI stopped counterterrorism interviews.

The FBI met with them privately to explain the national security benefits of outreach, but could not allay their concerns. In the end, the FBI backed off. Today, Hamas, Hezbollah and the al-Qaida-tied Muslim Brotherhood are all active in the area.

Expect Conyers and Pelosi to kick open the doors of Congress to Islamists from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other militant groups. They will have unfettered access, even though many of their leaders have been tied to terrorism (some CAIR officials have landed in the big house).

Another drunk illegal kills 3 more Americans

Another drunk illegal kills 3 more Americans
Suspect had pleaded guilty last year to count of driving without a license


Posted: November 9, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

Pictures:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52875

Three people – two North Carolina State University students and a 16-year-old – have been killed by an illegal alien, who allegedly was driving drunk, and already had a record of crime in the United States.

Authorities say Pastor Rios Sanchez, 55, is expected back in a North Carolina court on Nov. 15 on charges he killed Helen Meghan Hughes, 22, of Summerville, S.C., Jennifer Carter, 18, of Jacksonville, N.C., and Hughes’ stepbrother, 16-year-old Ben Leonard.

The two women were students at North Carolina State and all three were returning to Raleigh recently when a car crossed the center line about five miles from Sanford and collided head on with Hughes’ station wagon. Two died instantly and Leonard died after being taken to Central Carolina Hospital, Highway Patrol Trooper K.T. Hill said of the Oct. 27 crash.

It’s just the latest in a series of incidents on which WND has reported over recent months about illegal aliens in the United States doing the crime, but not the time. Nor are they deported sometimes as many cases would suggest they deserve.

Sanchez is being held on $75,000 bail and an immigration detainer following an appearance where he was charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter and he also may face charges of carrying fraudulent identification, immigration authorities told the Raleigh News-Observer.

Immigration officer Tom O’Connell said Sanchez had a residency card but it apparently was forged. And District Judge Donald L. Boone noted that the bond seemed “really low” for the counts in the case.

Authorities also said Sanchez had pleaded guilty to driving without a license a year ago. And court records show he was accused of a similar count in March and another in April. One count was dismissed and Sanchez failed to show up for court on the other.

O’Connor said Sanchez could be deported within a month if in immigration custody, but state allegations against him could take months to resolve.

“We can’t just hold [him] for eight months on an immigration charge [while the state continues its case],” O’Connell told the newspaper.

Tom Lock, the prosecutor, said those brushes with the law probably wouldn’t have raised a red flag that he was illegal.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of traffic citations of people who are illegal immigrants, and as a practical matter (immigration) is not notified of each one of these,” Lock said.

Michael Gilhooly, of the immigration department, said law enforcement officers can check electronically with a Vermont center that runs any name through Homeland Security databases and responds with the information available, such as legal residency, whether the person is wanted, or is a citizen.

Authorities said in a 12-month period, 3,478 inquiries were made by North Carolina officers, and 242 people were detained.

WRAL News in Raleigh reported that a memorial service for Carter was held in Jacksonville three days after the crash, while a service for Hughes and Leonard was a day later in Raleigh.

It was only a short time ago a twice-deported illegal alien with a record of drug arrests was told he was facing jail time. Marcos Ramos Medina, 35, who was found to have at least eight aliases and falsely identified himself at his first court appearance, escaped serious injury on Aug. 4, 2005, when his car swerved several times across the center line, causing a tractor-trailer rig to jackknife in Yakima, Wash. His car then plowed head-on into the 2000 Lexus driven by Peggy Keller, 53, dean of distance education at Yakima Valley Community College, killing her at the scene. As WND reported, Medina’s first trial came to an abrupt end in August 2006 when Russell T. “Todd” Sharpe, a six-year Washington State Patrol officer, testified that the suspect fought against his restraints while being taken to the hospital for a blood alcohol test and refused to answer questions. The case against the Mexican national was declared a mistrial because his constitutional right to remain silent had been violated. It took a second jury only 30 minutes to find Medina guilty.

Then in 2005, WND reported, Scott Gardner of Mount Holly, N.C., was on vacation and heading to the coast with his family when his station wagon was struck by a truck driven by Ramiro Gallegos, an illegal alien charged three times previously with drunk driving. Gardner, the father of two young children, was killed. Gallegos of Mexico was charged with second-degree murder and driving while impaired.

In Chattanooga, Tenn., a court heard the case of an illegal alien convicted of running her car into a house and killing a 91-year-old woman. A judge ordered Vitalina Bautista Vargas deported. Amazingly, the family of the victim remained compassionate and merciful. “They wanted one of the conditions to be that she learn how to drive,” prosecutor Jay Wood said. Prosecutor Wood said federal officials insisted that she be deported. He said as a convicted felon, she will not be allowed to apply to re-enter the country for at least 10 years. Louella Winton, the victim, was asleep in her bed when the car crashed into her house. The vehicle knocked the victim through the bedroom wall and threw her against the wall of the house next door.

But driving under the influence may be only the tip of the problem of illegal aliens on U.S. highways.

There also was the case of Victor Manuel Caballero. Even though he entered the country illegally from Mexico five years ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that he could collect damages for being hurt in an auto accident from a special state fund set up to benefit those hurt in accidents with uninsured drivers. Caballero would hitch a ride to his computer job with a co-worker, 19-year-old Ricardo Martinez. One morning, Martinez fell asleep at the wheel, veered off the road and struck a parked tractor trailer. Martinez walked away from the accident, but Caballero, who also was illegal, was badly hurt. The hospital costs of $38,300 were paid by a charity fund, while his successful lawsuit found he was eligible for up to $15,000 for “pain and suffering.”

Little caution, critics say, is being exercised when it comes to preventing mayhem on America’s highways as the country witnesses record high numbers of unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured drivers – millions of whom are illegal aliens like Medina.

While no one – in or out of government – tracks traffic accidents caused by illegal aliens, the statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests many of last year’s 42,636 road deaths involved illegal aliens.

A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found 20 percent of fatal accidents involve at least one driver who lacks a valid license. In California, another study showed that those who have never held a valid license are about five times more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than licensed drivers.

Statistically, that makes them an even greater danger on the road than drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked – and nearly as dangerous as drunk drivers.

While police do not routinely ask drivers about their immigration status, New York’s Rockland County District Attorney Michael Bongiorno – who has prosecuted more than 20 felony cases this year involving people accused of both unlicensed driving and drunken driving – estimated that two-thirds of about 70 drivers charged in Spring Valley with misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated and unlicensed driving were illegal immigrants.

“Unfortunately, the undocumented drivers here do that (drive unlicensed) more than the natives,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Wendy Hahn. “If they’ve been involved in an incident, they flee because they don’t want to deal with immigration.”

Federal immigration officials typically do not get involved when an undocumented person is charged with drunken driving or driving without a license, said Bongiorno and police officials around the country.

While the Census Bureau estimates there are 9 million illegal aliens living in the U.S., other sources put the figure closer to 20 million. Running parallel to those estimates are the best guesses on the number of unlicensed motorists – 17 million.

In addition, the states with the most illegal aliens also have the most unlicensed drivers. Those states are also in the lead for the most hit-and-run accidents, according to reports issued by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the Pew Hispanic Center. California ranks at the top with 24.1 percent of the known 11.1 million illegal aliens.

The proportion of unlicensed drivers varies widely state-by-state, with 6 percent in Maine and 23 percent in New Mexico.

Many of those advocating allowing illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses make the case by suggesting most unlicensed drivers are so because they cannot get a license.

In California, for instance, the Legislature is considering several proposals that would help illegal immigrants drive. One of them is a bill that would prevent police from seizing vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers. Senate Bill 626 by Sen. Nell Soto, D-Ontario, would apply to all drivers who have never obtained a California license. Opponents point out those favoring the bill are the same people promoting licenses for illegals.

‘Under current state law, police can seize vehicles for up to 30 days if the driver is unlicensed. Under the new bill, if the driver never had a license, the vehicle could be seized for only 24 hours; those who had licenses suspended or revoked would still have the vehicles impounded for up to 30 days.

Who are the people who have never had a license? Disproportionately, critics of the bill say, they are illegal immigrants.

In the Maryland Legislature, Delegate Luiz R.S. Simmons, D-Montgomery, is drafting legislation that would stiffen penalties for unlicensed drivers. His bill requires them to appear before a judge and would make them subject to up to 90 days in jail for a first offense and as much as a year for a second offense. In addition, cars belonging to unlicensed drivers could be impounded for up to a month or forfeited if they were involved in an accident that caused an injury.

Though there is absolutely no government data on the identity of Maryland’s unlicensed drivers – or those in any other state – Simmons’s bill has been attacked by immigrant rights’ activists, who say it targets Latinos.

Whether they are mostly illegal aliens or not, one thing is certain – there are more unlicensed drivers on the road than ever before. So prevalent is the trend that many police departments have cut back on sobriety checkpoints in favor of checkpoints to check the documentation of drivers.

A WND statistical study of police reports of dozens of such checkpoints around the country show that close to 10 percent of drivers stopped are either unlicensed or have suspended licenses. Even at sobriety checkpoints, far more drivers are found to be unlicensed than intoxicated.

While some say the answer to the illegal alien-unlicensed driver crisis is permitting illegals to get licensed, others say the solution is decreasing the number of illegal immigrants living in the United States.

Rules determining who is eligible for a driver’s license vary by state. Eleven states do not require legal immigration status to obtain a license. The rest do require proof of legal status, either by state law or the documents required to apply. The eleven states are: Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. Tennessee and Utah have introduced a separate “certificate for driving” for state residents who cannot prove they are lawfully present in the United States. But Tennessee stopped issuing the certificates in February after reports that undocumented immigrants were coming from out of state and using false documents to apply.

The Real ID act, scheduled to take effect in 2008, will prohibit all states from issuing licenses to illegal aliens or the licenses will not be accepted as identification for federal purposes.

In addition to being unlicensed, most illegal alien drivers are uninsured – making the accidents they cause even more injurious. Statewide, more than one-third of California drivers are without insurance, according to the California Department of Insurance. In some low-income and minority neighborhoods, the rate is over 50 percent. In San Jose, for instance, 55 percent of all drivers on the road have no auto insurance. In some parts of Los Angeles, Imperial, San Diego and Alameda counties, the rate reaches as high as 90 percent.

The situation isn’t much better in other states with high populations of illegals. In Texas, 27 percent of drivers are uninsured. In Florida, the estimates are between 15 and 25 percent. In Colorado, 32 percent.

There are no official statistics about highway carnage and illegal aliens. But there is an increasing awareness among law enforcement officials – and victims of traffic accidents – that illegal aliens are playing a disproportionate role in the road mayhem.

According to surveys conducted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Hispanics believe it takes 6-8 drinks to affect driving, while Americans, indoctrinated for years against drunk driving, believe it takes just 2-4 drinks.

In 2001, MADD reported 44.1 percent of California’s drunk driving arrests were of Hispanics, while, officially, they made up just 31.3 percent of the population.