Over the weekend, Montgomery County Police arrested Jose Juan Garcia-Perlera, 33, for a string of home invasions and a murder he was linked to through DNA evidence. This is an unending saga in the Washington area, involving crime, illegal immigration and local governments’ safe-haven policies.
For 13 months, Mr. Garcia-Perlera allegedly made a pretty good living as a home burglar. According to authorities, he got up every morning, traveled from his home in Hyattsville about 10 or 15 miles to Montgomery County neighborhoods - Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac - casing homes of the elderly. He would then presumably strike days later - breaking in, hog-tying the homeowners - 92, 77, 84 and 85, 78, 63 years of age - and absconding with the goods. The next day he walked or drove to Fred’s Pawn Shop about a half-mile away from his Hyattsville apartment to unload his ill-gotten bounty and collect his evil greenbacks.
Anyone who grew up in Hyattsville, Langley Park, Bladensburg, Riverdale and other towns in Prince George’s County along the District’s northeastern border knows that things have changed dramatically in the past 15 years. These towns have large immigrant communities, including many who are illegally in the United States. While most of these illegals are trying to live productive, law-abiding lives, a minority are bent on indulging in a more predatory lifestyle. No matter, they are here - presumably without our knowledge - and they are not supposed to be. As the old saying goes, “It ain’t hard to tell.”
Local police, county executives and council members and members of the mundane bureaucracy know exactly where they are and in many cases who they are. But for some reason, they won’t lift a finger to follow the law - our federal laws against illegal immigration. Perhaps some immigrants got fed up with the system after all these years. Illegals would be deported back to their home countries, but they would re-enter the United States. Legal immigrants would run into them again months later, right back in the neighborhood in this country. This occurred because the federal government was doing the same thing it is today - failing to police the nation’s borders.
Every year newspapers log hundreds of stories about crimes committed by illegal immigrants, typically burying in paragraph 7, 8 or 13 the fact that “He is not a U.S. citizen” (as The Washington Post did in its story on Mr. Garcia-Perlera.) From reading these accounts, is, one might think the matter of immigration status is some trivial matter.
With the passage of the Simpson-Mazzoli immigration law in 1986, the border line was erased and every year since, Americans either visiting the border or looking at maps may wonder if anyone - the presidential candidates, the Border Patrol, the media, average citizens - will get angry enough or concerned enough to make an effort to draw it again.