[“Deport the Criminals First” is a recurring feature on this blog, highlighting crimes committed by illegal immigrants — with a special focus on repeat offenders. I argue that, instead of arresting illegal immigrants who work hard for a living, we should use our limited immigration enforcement resources to target illegal immigrants who commit crimes in this country.]
Back in March, in discussing the Great U.S. Attorneys Firing Scandal, I noted U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton’s overly restrictive guidelines regarding the prosecution of illegal re-entry cases.
I knew at the time that this policy probably cost lives.
Now I have evidence of it.
In my March post, I noted an e-mail in which a Bush Administration official complained:
When I was in Phoenix with Jon, we met with USA Paul Charlton. Charlton told us that his office didn’t prosecute illegal aliens until they were apprehended 13 times (after the initial removal order). His exceptions to that “policy” were: aliens with aggravated felonies; alien smugglers with 12 or more people; and aliens who cross the border illegally with children not their own.
No, that’s not a typo. It says “13 times.” Illegal re-entry prosecutions required 13 apprehensions after the initial removal order.
Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, Batman!
If that doesn’t amaze you, you’re beyond being amazed.
Here’s how that policy may have killed a man named Ivan Santos. From a September 13, 2007 KTAR.com story:
An illegal immigrant who’s been deported five times will be facing the death penalty for a Phoenix murder.
Now that’s a good lede.
Demetro Acosta-Uribe is accused of shooting Ivan Santos to death earlier this year.
According to police reports, Santos’ body was found in May 2007 in the front yard of a west Phoenix home. The victim had been shot to death after he was bound and his head covered in plastic wrap.
Two other men were also found on the property, restrained in the same manner. Neither had been shot, but one of the victims would have suffocated had a neighbor not rescued him.
Police allege Santos was shot and killed as he tried to escape.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s office says the case is an example of how wide open borders expose the Valley to violent crime.
Andrew Thomas said the government’s continuing failure to control the border has made Maricopa County residents vulnerable to violence.
Acosta-Uribe is a citizen of Mexico and had been deported five times.
The last deportation took place on May 7, 2004. He was also deported Nov. 21, 2003; Sept. 18, 1997; July 9, 1993; and April 29, 1998.
Jeez . . . with all of these deportations, you’d think the feds might have prosecuted him for illegal re-entry and tossed him in prison. Might have saved someone’s life, huh? I bet you’re wondering why that didn’t happen.
It all comes together when you realize that Paul Charlton was the U.S. Attorney who had jurisdiction over Phoenix from November 6, 2001 until December 19, 2006. Accordingly, he was the U.S. Attorney at the time of Acosta-Uribe’s last two deportations in 2003 and 2004 — and who, apparently, failed to prosecute Acosta-Uribe for illegal re-entry.
Demetro Acosta-Uribe shouldn’t have been free, in this country, after he was apprehended by immigration officials in 2003 or 2004. He should have been prosecuted for illegal re-entry, and sent to federal prison.
If he had been prosecuted by Paul Charlton — instead of simply deported pursuant to ridiculously lenient filing guidelines — maybe he would have been locked up, instead of committing murder.
Still think the U.S. Attorney firings were contrived? Still think they were over nothing?
Tell Ivan Santos.