Wednesday, July 11, 2007

One Reason for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Comprehensive Immigration Reform opponents will have to live with the current broken status-quo system which allows for things like this to happen:

Assistant District Attorney Mike Vough said Friday he was forced to drop the case because a key witness, Cesar Ariel Jacquez, had been inadvertently deported, and two other important witnesses had credibility issues.

Police found the murder weapon in Jacquez's apartment, and Jacquez would have testified that Cabrera and Romero gave it to him after the homicide, Vough said.

Prosecutors traveled to the Dominican Republic last month, but could not persuade Jacquez to return to the United States to testify.
The case in question involved charges of homocide levied against two illegal immigrants from the Dominican Republic and resulted in the mayor of the Pennsylvania town where the murder took place pushing through an ordinance that would penalize landlords who rent to illegals and businesses that hire them. The ACLU did not defend the two accused, but did challenge the legality of the resulting ordinance as a violation of current law which places the creation and enforcement of immigration law in the hands of federal authorities and not municipal authorities. Read the story for more details.

But what I want to point out about this whole situation is that the deportation of the prosecution's star witness in accordance with the enforcement of current immigration laws made it impossible to prosecute the two men charged with the murder. When you have an immigration law enforcement and criminal justice system working at odds with one another, that must surely be undeniable evidence that some kind of comprehensive immigration reform program, and not just a border security program, must be tackled together. One might argue that a tougher border security system might have kept the accused out of the country and thus possibly prevented the crime from occurring in the first place, but the fact is that we have to contend with the reality in which we live. We cannot ignore it. And to do so means that these two accused not only will get to walk, but will also likely find their way back to the Dominican Republic and likely will never be brought to justice.

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