- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2008

It is a shame that an illegal immigrant charged with stabbing a man in the sternum in Montgomery County last August, one month after he was charged with assaulting a teen there, was released on $2,500 bail until his trial.

Not surprisingly, Milton Calderon-Melendez, a member of the MS-13 street gang, did not appear at his trial because illegal immigrants do not have to follow the law. At least that is the message many of our lawmakers send to illegals.

So you are an illegal immigrant? No problem. We will build you a day-laborer center with taxpayer funds and encourage our citizenry to learn Spanish, so we can plead with an MS-13 gang member not to stab us in the sternum.

This is not to suggest that all illegal immigrants come to the United States to stab people in the sternum. Some come to the United States to rape and pillage. Others come to peddle drugs. And still others take whatever low-end jobs they can land and exist in a black-market economy.

It is an outrageous system that keeps wages artificially low in the service and working-class industries and hurts many Americans because of their unwillingness to be a restaurant dishwasher at $8 an hour.

Calderon-Melendez is awaiting his fate in a jail cell in Prince William County after the gang unit there arrested him Friday.

As is the policy of Prince William County authorities, they notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement that Calderon-Melendez is in the United States illegally. If Calderon-Melendez had been first arrested in Prince William County, he never would have been released on bail, and one person might have been spared the unpleasantness of a knife to the sternum.

Alas, it is not the policy of Montgomery County to verify the legal status of those arrested, because that is just not nice.

Interestingly enough, all kinds of systems are in place that check on the status of Americans. Are you a poor credit risk? Do you have a bunch of unpaid parking tickets? Did you meet your tax bill last year? What did you buy at the grocery store last week?

Databases store gobs of personal information on you, and all kinds of people sift through the information to make their evaluations of you.

Somehow, though, if you are an illegal, it is considered invasive or unfriendly in some localities to check on your status. Plenty of native-born criminals would appreciate it if that sort of logic were applied to them.

Let’s say police arrested someone on suspicion of robbing a convenience store. Would it be inhospitable of police to check on whether there are any outstanding warrants against the person? Would it be rude of police to investigate every aspect of the robber’s life?

You are thinking that is ridiculous, that crime is a bad thing and we must rid our streets of those who mean us harm with thorough police work. So what do we know of the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants within our borders? Do they mean us harm? Not all of them, of course. But some? Maybe more than some? We do not really know, do we? We just know that not all of them feel inclined to obey our laws, which is hardly shocking, given that some lawmakers are all too eager to set down a welcome mat for them.

Montgomery County authorities are seeking to have Calderon-Melendez extradited from Prince William County, possibly to give him anger-management counseling, if not do some outreach work with him.

Police say Calderon-Melendez resorted to the old knife-to-the-sternum measure after his buddy beat the victim in the head with a baseball bat. The human body rarely responds well to a baseball bat to the head or a knife attack, but the victim survived, no thanks to Montgomery County’s lawmakers.

Now they want to put Calderon-Melendez on trial. They might want to put their illegal-immigrant-friendly system on trial, too.

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