- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Even hardened cops found it difficult to comprehend the carnage they found at 7000 Park Heights Ave. in Northwest Baltimore on May 27, 2004. There lay the bodies of Ricardo Solis Quezada Jr. and his sister, Lucero Solis Quezada, both 9 years old, and their cousin, Alexis Espejo Quezada, 10, illegal aliens from Mexico. One of the children was decapitated, and the other two were all but beheaded with a fillet knife. The trial of the alleged “Baltimore Butchers” begins today.

Two relatives of the children — Adan Espinoza Canela, 17, who worked at a Baltimore slaughterhouse, and Policarpio Espinoza, 22, who sold food from a truck — were arrested and charged with the slayings. Both suspects are illegal aliens. Police suspect that the killings were in retaliation for the failure of the children’s parents to pay off their debts to “coyotes” who smuggled the family into the country. Family members claim the defendants are innocent, and have refused to cooperate with prosecutors and police.

There are two separate issues here. The first is that three innocent children were brutally murdered. Whoever committed this crime must be severely punished. The second is the matter of illegal immigration and crime — a subject that has serious implications for people across the United States and Marylanders in particular.

To begin with, anyone who crosses the border illegally, as the defendants did, has committed a crime by doing so. But a significant minority of illegal aliens go on to perpetrate more disturbing crimes after arriving in the United States. They include such persons as Angel Maturino Resendiz, the so-called Railroad Killer, who murdered at least nine people as he traveled the country by train, and the Mexican drug dealers who killed ranger Kris Eggle, 28, at Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona on Aug. 9, 2002. In 2003, the Federal Bureau of Prisons estimated that criminal aliens — noncitizens who commit crimes — comprise more than 29 percent of federal prison inmates.

One of the first people to arrive at the murder scene on that horrible afternoon last May was Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley, who denounced the crimes and vowed to bring those responsible to justice. But there is no getting around the fact that politicians like Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, bear a measure of responsibility for the fact that illegal aliens are finding Maryland an increasingly attractive place to reside. Their number has more than doubled since 2000, a period during which the mayor, Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan and other Democratics have fought to ensure that illegals will not be barred from obtaining driver’s licenses and immigration status. Mr. O’Malley also has lobbied aggressively against legislation that would encourage better federal-state cooperation to apprehend illegal aliens. If Mr. O’Malley and the Democratic establishment get their way, Maryland will continue to be an attractive place to people like the Baltimore Butchers and the Railroad Killer.

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