May 16, 2008
Arizona Governor Fights Illegal Immigration Task Force
Manuel Espinoza-Vasquez lives in Gilbert, Arizona and is a student at Arizona State University. He is an illegal immigrant and he is facing deportation. Espinoza-Vasquez was stopped by Gilbert police for making an "improper right turn." At the same time, three teenagers were deported to Mexico after they were stopped by Gilbert PD for drag racing. They admitted they were in the country illegally, just like Espinoza-Vasquez.
There are over 400,000 illegal aliens in the United States that have been ordered to leave the country, but remain here. Of that number, 80,000 are classified as violent criminals.
It has been reported that illegal aliens generally commit crimes at the same rate, proportionately, as legal citizens. If, however, they were not here to commit those crimes, the number of overall crimes committed would be reduced. And, those who have lost their lives in an incident involving an illegal alien, would still be alive. Think about the three Newark, New Jersey college students who were killed by an illegal from Peru. If he weren't in this country, they would be continuing their education and dreaming of future careers and family.
In many municipalities around the country, jaywalking is a crime. Mainly characterized as a civil traffic offense, it usually brings with it a small fine and a misdemeanor designation. Most law enforcement offices ignore jaywalking. Police and sheriff departments in America are very busy day after day with larger issues. So what if this one law is not enforced? What harm could result?
Well, according to the National Safety Council, 1,770 pedestrians died in 1998 while crossing the street. Thousands more were injured. If those numbers hold consistently year over year, we would have lost over 16,000 to this kind of fatality between 1998 and today.
Is enforcing the jaywalking law important? Would it have saved every life that was lost? Not every life, but perhaps a fairly significant number of them. A deterrent would have been established if any municipality let in be known that this particular law would be strictly followed, or, tickets and fines would follow.
How many lives have been lost due to illegal immigration? Tragically, the news is replete with incidences of crimes, including murder (see above), that involve illegal aliens. Are all illegal aliens dangerous criminals? No. Do most illegal aliens commit minor offences or relatively petty crimes? No. However, all of them broke the law at least once. That is the truth of the matter.
Legislatures at the local, state and Federal levels, are debating how best to handle this situation. One way is to start enforcing unfailingly the laws already on the books. Perhaps a life will be saved if we do. And that includes the lives of those who risk peril by coming to this country by a treacherous desert crossing, or, by resting a dangerous faith in a coyote to smuggle them across the border.
This leads us to the decision this week by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to pull the funding designated by the State's legislature to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's illegal immigration task force. Napolitano buckled to political pressure to stop Arpaio's crime suppression sweeps and bow before the forces of the pro-illegal immigrant crowd in Arizona. It seems that the Sheriff's sweeps have netted more than a couple of illegal immigrants as his deputies enforce the law by pulling over motorists for broken tail-lights and expired car registration tags.
Her excuse for pulling the Sheriff's money is that 40,000 felony warrants are outstanding in the greater Phoenix area (that number has somehow blossomed to 60,000 in newspaper accounts this week), and the money is better spent chasing down these warrants. She also says his sweeps have caused "trepidation" in the "immigrant community." So, via executive order, the money has been re-directed to the Department of Public Safety. The DPS, curiously enough, has been recently chastised in the state by an ACLU allegation that has charged them with racial profiling during their traffic stops. No wonder the Governor has selected them to receive Joe's money.
A long range question for Napolitano is this: if she were to become a President Barack Obama's Attorney General (as rumored -- she supported him over Hillary Clinton), would she direct money and resources to round up the 80,000 criminally violent illegal immigrants now roaming free all throughout these United States? Doubtful.