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Some of the Serious Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants
Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D. -- Author of Fifty Books Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D. -- Author of Fifty Books
Lafayette , CA
Friday, April 13, 2018

Criminal with a Gun

Here's another blog from a client who has been writing about the immigration controversy.  In this blog he talks about the serious crimes committed by illegal immigrants.


Some of the Serious Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants

by Paul Brakke

          Probably the most well-known recent case involving an illegal immigrant and a violent crime involves the killing of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, when Jose Ines Garcia Zarate shot her on a pier with a stolen gun he claims he found there that went off accidentally.  It is true that the jury bought his argument that this was an accident based on the bullet ricocheting on the ground before it killed her. But he was later found guilty of felony possession of a gun, whether he stole it or not.  Had he been turned over by the San Francisco Sheriff's Department to the Federal Immigration authorities, who would have deported him because of his extensive prior convictions and his repeated returns to the Bay Area, he would not have been on the pier, and Kate Steinle would not have been shot.  In short, Kate Steinle's death is one that didn't have to happen, and it only happened because an illegal immigrant remained in the United States, rather than being deported, due to San Francisco sanctuary city policies, which remain in effect today.

            The major media coverage of that one case also resulted in many other examples of immigrants committing serious crimes coming to light.  They have been discussed in a few articles, but otherwise many of the violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants are generally not known to the larger American public.  In turn, a review of these cases helps to support the argument for restricting immigration from illegal immigrants and increasing the number deported.  Certainly, as liberals may argue in support of keeping illegal immigrants here, there are many similarly serious crimes committed by native born and legal immigrants.  And that's true.  There are.  But that's not the point.  What is important is that these are additional crimes by illegals that wouldn't have happened, if they weren't permitted to come to the United States or stay here. 

           Thus, one should consider their crimes as additive, rather than using statistics to compare the crime rates for illegals, non-illegal immigrants, and Native Americans. Comparisons are what liberals do in arguing that settled illegal immigrants commit less crime, or in suggesting that those illegals who commit more crimes largely come from a more crime prone younger generation from 15-35, just because more illegals come to the U.S. at a younger age.  While all of these statistical arguments may be true, they avoid an essential rationale for reducing or eliminating the illegals in the country -- they represent an addition to the crimes committed by other populations.

           With that context in mind, here are some examples of serious crimes committed by illegal immigrants to support my basic contention to keep them out or send them home, before they add any more crimes to the mix.

            One of the most recent cases involved the death of an Indianapolis Colts football player Edwin Jackson and a Uber driver.  They were both killed when a pickup truck driven at three times the speed limit by Guatemalan citizen Manuel Orrega Savala hit the car.  The tragedy was even worse because Savala was in the country illegally and had already been deported twice, according to state police.[1]  So this is one more additive crime committed by an illegal immigrant, regardless of the percentages in the comparative statistics.

          Many more of these serious crimes by illegal immigrants can be found in the record of such crimes compiled by FAIR -- the Federation for American Immigration Reform.   Aside from a series of these crimes featured in an article "Examples of Serious Crimes by Illegal Aliens," FAIR has an archive of several dozen crimes committed in 2017, 2016, 2015 and even earlier.  The site even has a series of "Stolen Life" videos featuring the lost lives of the individuals killed by illegal immigrants, as described by their family members who are still grieving for their loss.

           I'll describe just some of these stories featured in Stolen Lives and then highlight some of the serious crimes profiled in the archives.

          One of the most poignant stories is that of Ronald da Silva, who was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant, when da Silva was standing with a friend in his driveway on April 27, 2002.  The killer had previously been deported, and he was sentenced to 21 years in prison.  But one reason for featuring his story now is that he is scheduled to be released from prison in 2020, and in the video da Silva's mother, Agnes Gibboney, makes this powerful statement: "The guy that killed my son has a determinate sentence in prison, but I have a lifetime sentence of grief and pain."  In response, she has been one of the ardent activists pushing for immigration reform.

           Another Stolen Life video features Tessa Tranchant's story.  In this case, Tessa, 16, was sitting at a stoplight with her friend when Alfredo Ramos, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, rammed into her car on March 30, 2007.  Ramos was drunk and speeding when he rear-ended her, and he had a history of prior convictions.  But due to Virginia Beach's sanctuary policies, he hadn't been detained and deported.  As a result of the accident, he was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

           In another rear-end accident, Sarah Root, 21, from Omaha, Nebraska, was killed on January 31, 2016, when Eswin Mejia, an illegal immigrant from Honduras who was street racing, plowed into her car.  Sarah had just graduated from Bellevue University with a 4.0 GPA the day before she died. In this case, Mejia escaped any penalties, because this accident happened in Douglas County, Nebraska, which has sanctuary policies that interfered with local law enforcement's ability to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, who might have detained Mejia.  Instead, he was allowed to post bail and get out of jail on a motor vehicular homicide charge.  After his release he simply disappeared.

          In another case described in the Stolen Lives series, Shayley Estest had obtained an order of protection against Igor Zubko, an illegal immigrant from Russia, 10 days before he killed her on July 24, 2015.  Despite this order, Zubko entered her home and shot her.  Though he entered the U.S. legally, he overstayed his visa, so he was in the U.S. illegally when he committed his crime.  At least in this case, the police arrested him and charged him with first-degree murder.

          Finally, to take one more example, Apolinar Altamiro, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, killed Grant Ronnebeck, 21, in Mesa, Arizona on January 22, 2015 when they had an argument about a pack of cigarettes while Ronnebeck was working at a convenience store.  Altamirano was out on bond from a previous conviction, while ICE was deciding whether to deport him.

          The archives also list a variety of crimes by illegal immigrants that range from assault and rape to murder, after excluding the cases involving human smuggling and importing drugs.  For example, in 2017, some of the cases listed include these crimes:

          - 15 years in prison for brutally torturing and abusing three small children,

          - 50 years in prison for producing child pornography,

          - 8 years in state prison and 5 years of probation for a child rape case,

          - at least 18 years in prison for molesting a teenage girl an estimated 50 times,

          - 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting and terrorizing a young woman,

          - 20-29 years in prison for raping a 13 year old girl.

          These are just a small fraction of the crimes listed for 2017, with many more for 2016, 2015, and in the older archives. I have left the prison sentences in to make another point: we taxpayers are paying for those prison stays.

          As previously noted, this is not to say that legal immigrants and native born Americans couldn't have committed any of these crimes. The point is that the crimes were committed by illegal immigrants, many who had returned after being initially deported or given sanctuary in cities or counties with sanctuary protections.  So such cases add to the urgency of taking steps to better protect U.S. citizens from the crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

          In the next post in this series, I'll suggest some solutions for providing this additional safety and security from illegal immigrants in the United States.    


[1] Pat Kessler, "Reality Check: Immigrants and Crime," BCS Minnesota, February 7, 2018.  http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2018/02/07/reality-check-immigrants-crime/



Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D.
Changemakers Publishing and Writing
Lafayette, CA
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