"I don't want somebody in this county to get run over and killed by someone that I've had in my jail numerous times ... and he's still here."
Those were the words from Sheriff Randall Boyce last month as he talked about implementing the federal database sharing program called 287(g) that would be used to identify and then deport illegal immigrants.
Boyce was talking about the problem of certain folks who are in and out of the county jail on a such a regular basis that it is a second home to some.
But the sheriff is also touching on a deadly dilemma that is being seen in communities all across the county -- illegal immigrants who are let out of jail instead of being deported that end up committing more crimes and killing innocent people.
The latest, most sensational case comes out of Newark, NJ, where illegal immigrant Jose Carranza has been charged with the execution-style murders of three college students. What has people enraged is that fact he was freed on bail twice this year after being charged with assault and rape involving a girl of kindergarten age.
The man, regardless of his race or immigration status, should not have been walking around free with such hideous charges pending. What were they thinking?
On Wednesday, reports came in from Baltimore that a Guatemalan man who is in the country illegally was arrested on hit-and-run charges after a traffic accident killed two highway construction workers and injured three others.
Remember the case of the six illegal immigrants arrested that were allegedly plotting to kill U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix? It turns out that three of them had been in the country illegally for 23 years, and had been charged by the New Jersey police more than 75 times during that time period.
Last month in nearby Columbia, cops were on the hunt for an illegal immigrant they say raped a 15-year-old girl only hours after being released from jail. Juan Villa had been in jail 11 times since 2001 on charges that include assault and public intoxication. Authorities say Villa committed the rape just hours after his latest stay in the county lockup. While investigating the first crime, a 13-year-old girl also told deputies that Villa raped her as well.
And in Nashville, there has been several cases of illegal immigrants who have repeatedly been in jail, only to be released where they would get drunk and then drive off and slam into another innocent family, killing them.
One big problem rests with towns and cities that have set themselves up as "sanctuary zones." The status bans cooperation between federal immigration officials and local cops, the exact opposite of the 287[g] program. There are currently more than 60 sanctuary zones, and Newark was one of them.
The first sanctuary city established was Los Angeles and guess what: 95 percent of all outstanding murder warrants in that city are for illegal immigrants.
According to statistics released last year by Rep. Steve King of Iowa, 12 Americans are murdered every day by illegal immigrants, and 13 more are killed by drunk illegal immigrant drivers. That's a whole lot more than we lose in Iraq every week.
A report released in 2005 by the Government Accountability Office [GAO] looked at 55,322 illegals locked up in federal, state, and local facilities during 2003. The study found that the 55,322 represented a total of 459,614 arrests -- around eight arrests per illegal alien.
Those arrests represented a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses -- averaging 13 offenses per illegal immigrant and 36 percent had been arrested at least five times before.
Our sheriff is doing what he can to prevent something like the above crimes from happening here in Bedford County. But until the 287[g] program is in place, he has to follow the laws he also is responsible for enforcing.
When will this end?
Unfortunately, this writer firmly believes that absolutely nothing will be done about this national crisis until the next innocent victim is the family member of a politician or a celebrity.
Then you'll see things happen like you wouldn't believe.