- The Washington Times - Monday, January 19, 2004

Last Friday, serial child predator Jose Guillermo Alvarado plead guilty to another count of molestation in Montgomery County Circuit Court. An illegal immigrant, Alvarado had been deported from Montgomery County in 1998 for a similar offense.

Lax enforcement of immigration laws have made Montgomery County a sanctuary for felons like Alvarado. Last September, the Montgomery County Council voted to permit illegal immigrants to use Mexico’s fraud-ridden matricula consular to obtain public services. Montgomery County also practices sanctuary law policies banned by Congress in 1996.

Other municipalities are flouting the same law with similar results. Illegal immigrants are responsible for much of the violent crime in large cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Houston and Austin. However, immigrant advocacy groups have barred police departments and other government agencies from reporting violations of immigration law to federal authorities in those areas, according to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald in her article, “The Illegal Alien Crime Wave,” published in the winter 2004 City Journal.

In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding homicide warrants are for illegal immigrants. Los Angeles police say they routinely see previously deported illegals from notorious Salvadoran gangs like Mara Salvatrucha on the streets. Yet unless officers witness such persons — felons by their very presence in the United States — committing another illegal act (such as a narcotics sale), they are not allowed to arrest them. In New York, a gang of five Mexicans — four of them illegal — abducted and raped a 42-year-old mother of two in Queens. Three of the illegals had been arrested on previous occasions for assault, armed robbery and drug offenses. However, the New York Police Department never notified the Immigration and Naturalization Service pursuant to sanctuary policies instituted by Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg.

One solution is the Clear Law Enforcement for Alien Removal Act, or CLEAR. The legislation, which has 112 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, would require that state and local governments provide the Department of Homeland Security with information about illegal aliens that police capture in the course of their duties and would end the current federal policy of catching and releasing immigration violators on grounds that there is no place to hold them. One of the outspoken critics of the legislation is Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan.

Until local governments put public safety ahead of political correctness and the interests of immigration advocacy groups, felons like Alvarado will continue to find sanctuary. The federal government must insist upon the enforcement of its immigration laws.


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