Case points to gravity of illegal immigrant problem

August 31, 2005|By GREGORY KANE

HUNG JURY.

That's how the trial of two illegal immigrants accused of killing three children in Northwest Baltimore ended yesterday. So it's back to the drawing board for prosecutors, who say they will try again.

But the question I have is what would have happened to Policarpio Espinoza and Adan Canela if they had been acquitted? Would we have done what should have been done long ago, long before the children were killed and what may have possibly saved their lives?

Yes, I'm talking about getting the illegal immigrants out of here.

You're not supposed to say such things these days, not unless you want to be accused of racism, bigotry or xenophobia. But I'm funny about the subject of illegal immigration, feeling as I do that it's ... what's the word I'm looking for here?

Oh, yeah. Illegal.

Quiet as it's kept, there are thousands of folks who legally immigrate to this country. Tolerating illegal immigrants among us tends to make clowns of those who bother to follow the rules and do it the right way.

That's only one reason I'm such a Tonton Macoute on the issue of illegal immigration. Another is that I've traveled to five countries within the past two years. I was expected to follow the immigration laws in all of them.

June 2003 found me in Jordan, subjected to what in the States would be called "mean-mugging" from Jordanian security at the airport. Their message was clear: Ain't no terrorist stuff happening here.

I didn't have a problem with that. Not if the goal was to get me back to my beloved United States of America in one piece. When I entered Jordan, I had to show my passport and complete documents telling why I was in the country.

August 2003 found me in Grenada, a speck of a country far down in the eastern Caribbean. But even in tiny Grenada, I had to prove I entered the country legally.

Ditto for my trips to Panama and Brazil.

When I went to Cuba, I had to contend with my government poking its nose into my business in an attempt to prevent me from spending too much of my money on the island. When I left, Cubans were determined to see that I didn't smuggle any of their precious cigars out of the country.

If I and other Americans have to follow and respect the immigration laws of other countries, then folks from those countries are danged sure going to respect ours.

Espinoza and Canela, whatever their guilt or innocence in the grisly killings of three children, clearly don't respect those laws. If they're tried again and found guilty, they should be sentenced to solitary confinement in prison for the rest of their lives. (I've given up hope that any murderer will ever receive the death penalty in this town, no matter how heinous the crime.)

If they're acquitted, we need to ship them back to Mexico at speeds approaching Warp 10. Ditto for any of their relatives who slipped across the border illegally.

That won't happen. Our federal government, which is supposed to be in charge of such things, has completely abandoned its authority on the matter of illegal aliens coming across our borders. Mexican President Vicente Fox seems to think of the United States as his country's northern suburb. President George W. Bush doesn't have the guts to correct him.

In fact, the relationship between Fox and Bush can best be explained this way: If Fox and Bush were inmates in the same prison, Fox would be slapping Bush and taking his Christmas packages.

On the matter of illegal immigration, Fox has shown that Bush has a fully nurtured and developed wimp gene. Since illegal immigration was noted as a motive by at least one of the defense attorneys in the Espinoza and Canela case, we have to wonder if the deaths of three children might have been prevented if we had a president who had some backbone on the subject.

Defense attorney James Rhodes said that Victor Espinoza Perez, who is Canela's father and Policarpio Espinoza's oldest brother, smuggled illegal immigrants into the United States at $2,500 per head. The implication is that three innocent children died because one adult allegedly stiffed another one.

If that theory is indeed a valid one, a crackdown at our borders and a more serious effort to stem the tide of illegal immigrants sneaking into the country might have prevented three killings. If saving the lives of children isn't enough motivation to get officials in Mexico to do their part in tightening up the borders, perhaps a selfish motive will.

Tougher border supervision won't just keep illegal aliens out of the United States; but it might help to keep the Yankees in.

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