Innocents die while politicians lie

Americans killed by illegalsA few days ago in Minnesota, a thousand miles from the southwest border, two illegal aliens were arrested for the brutal murder of a 90-year-old man who had hired them to paint his house. This did not happen in Texas or Arizona, which serves to remind us that all 50 states are now “border states.”

Some states are more hospitable and “welcoming” to illegal aliens than others. Minnesota has been on the honor roll of these “sanctuary states,” where politicians put up legal roadblocks to enforcement of federal immigration laws. Under the banner of “immigrant rights,” people who are NOT immigrants are given equal access to jobs and public benefits while federal immigration enforcement is suppressed.

The politicians who have made Minnesota a sanctuary for illegal aliens by suppressing immigration law enforcement have not yet been indicted as co-conspirators in the recent murder, but they should be. Politicians’ lies about our open borders have created this politically correct tolerance for the intolerable.

The Minnesota investigation will likely reveal that the two men charged with the crime have been arrested before but never reported to the federal immigration enforcement agency, ICE. Most states have halted all cooperation with ICE and do not report suspected illegal aliens even when taken into custody.

My home state of Colorado is, unfortunately, a good example of local officials turning a blind eye to illegal-alien crime. A month ago, a bill in the state legislature proposed to prohibit any local law enforcement agency from cooperating with ICE by honoring official requests for “detainers” on illegal aliens already in custody. A detainer allows ICE a few days to interrogate the person and determine both true identity and eligibility for federal detention and possible deportation.

Now, local sheriffs already have the authority to say no to ICE detainer requests, and sadly, most Colorado sheriffs are now doing just that. But the politicians behind the proposed new law are not content with non-enforcement. The new law would have removed all local discretion and made non-cooperation a matter of state law.

Are you ready for the kicker? Nine Republican state representatives voted for that anti-enforcement bill and helped it win passage in the lower chamber. Luckily, it died in the state Senate.

We all know that the vast majority of illegal aliens are not committing serious crimes, but that is not the point. The point is that our politicians are no longer helping prosecute and deport those who do. In fact, there is a “gentlemen’s agreement” among politicians and the media to under report and underplay illegal alien crime – because they do not want to “stigmatize” immigrants. So, the public has no idea the amount of crime that stems from open borders.

This conspiracy of silence was in full flower in 2008 when a 23-year-old illegal alien male, Francis Hernandez, killed three people in a traffic accident in a Denver suburb, one a 3-year-old boy who was the child of legal immigrants. Hernandez was arrested, convicted on 19 counts and sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Well and good, you say. Well, not really. Those three deaths – and thousands of others – would not have happened if states had been actively cooperating with the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws. Federal criminal alien data show that the typical criminal alien in prison has committed eight other crimes besides what sent him to jail.

Hernandez had been arrested 16 times, had 11 aliases, served jail time twice and had never possessed a valid driver’s license. But over the five-year period of those 16 arrests, he had never been referred to ICE by local law enforcement. Why not? Denver and Aurora are among the cities that brag about being “immigrant friendly,” so they would have been guilty of the horrible practice of “profiling” if they had asked ICE to look at the man’s immigration status and maybe send him back to Guatemala.

Have we learned any lessons from such tragedies? Apparently not. Under Obama’s new “Priority Enforcement” policies, even serial DUIs do not make an illegal alien eligible for deportation. Only “violent crimes” result in deportation – sometimes.

The silence of our law enforcement community in the face of this excess of political correctness is scandalous, but the pandering to lawlessness by our elected officials is worse. It will surely have a day of reckoning. And if not, then what does that say about our culture – our new “entertainment culture”?


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Tom Tancredo is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Foundation and founder and co-chairman of Team America PAC.He represented Colorado’s sixth congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009, and he is a former presidential candidate.


He is the author of In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security, and he can be heard every Monday on Grassroots Radio Colorado with Kris Cook (KLZ 560 AM).