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The Real Victims of a Broken Immigration Policy

Vargas-Border-Patrol

Jared Nathanial Vargas, a 20 year old college student at Northwest Vista College who grew up in San Antonio went missing Saturday, June 14th.  His family suspected foul play and asked friends and family members to start a prayer chain to help find him and bring him home safe.

He had been missing three days when his scorched body was found in an apartment complex on Jones Maltsberger in San Antonio on June 16th by firefighters responding to an emergency call. The cause of Vargas’ death was ruled homicidal violence by the medical examiner’s office. The “alleged” perpetrator, Ernesto Esquivel-Garcia, an undocumented alien was charged with murder, arson, and abuse of a corpse.

Court records show Esquivel-Garcia was charged with driving intoxicated and criminal mischief in March 2017. Why wasn’t a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer  placed on Esquivel-Garcia then?

This terrible tragedy hit close to home with this writer. I had received a call from a fellow parishioner, a relative of the young man by marriage, on the Saturday when the victim went missing. He was requesting prayers for Jared hoping he would soon return safely to his family. That was not meant to be.

I went to Jared’s funeral service last Friday. The church was packed with many young friends of Vargas. He was popular, well liked, his future bright. Cut down in the springtime of his life, members of his family described him as a good kid, who was well loved and loving, who had a happy childhood, very affable and outgoing. He was a twin. Sadly, surviving twins often go through a very severe grieving process. Some never recover.

It appears the murderer and his victim only knew each other a short time working at the same place of business, the Bowl and Barrel at the Rim. Esquivel-Garcia was fired recently which may have something to do with the murder of Vargas. Facts are not clear about the relationship because the Police has embargoed the release of any information about the case.

A troubling question with this murder is the police department’s actions directing the family not to publicize anything about the incident or the circumstances of the crime. Considering it’s a homicide, citizens have a right to know what happened to cause this violent act in this city and the undocumented alien who perpetrated the crime. It is impossible to hide this crime from the public eye. According to a recent article about this murder, Police Chief McManus and his legal team may be attempting to downplay the role of an illegal alien murdering  a local San Antonian.

McManus is under investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office for possible violation of the state’s anti-sanctuary law in the release of 12 illegal aliens last December. San Antonio is among the cities waging a prolonged court battle to overturn Senate Bill 4.” Criminal Alien Burns Texas City, Again

Mike Helle, President of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, has had serious issues with how McManus has thwarted Homeland Security investigations, according to the article.

This case requires tough questions including the dereliction of duty of the Press. Why is the local paper, the Express News, not questioning the Mayor and City Council, the City Manager, and Police Chief William McManus and the San Antonio Police Department’s role in obstructing federal law, heightening the risk of violence, jeopardizing the  safety of San Antonio residents by a scofflaw local law enforcement policy? Is their opposition to the state’s ban on  sanctuary cities a factor in what appears to be a cover up? The family and friends of Jared Vargas deserve a full accounting of what caused their son’s murder and the public has the right to know what the Mayor, City Council members, the City Manager, and Police Chief McManus are doing to ensure such crimes by illegals are stopped.

According to a White House briefing on June 22nd, barely a week after Jared Vargas’s charred body was found, “In Texas alone, more than 250,000 criminal aliens have been arrested and charged with over 600,000 criminal offenses within the last seven years. In fiscal year 2017, more than 8,000 criminal illegal aliens in police custody were released back into our communities as a result of sanctuary policies.

“A 2011 Government Accountability Office report found (in the U.S.) nearly 3 million offenses tied to criminal aliens, including: More than 25,000 homicide offenses; More than 42,000 robbery offenses; Nearly 70,000 sex crime offenses; Nearly 15,000 kidnapping offenses.”

Other Victims and Costs of A Broken Immigration Policy

Observe this article’s featured photo. U.S. Border Patrol agents are rescuing a mother and daughter from El Salvador attempting to cross the Rio Grande River at Eagle Pass, Texas, a city that borders Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. Why a mother would risk her daughter’s life and her own in the treacherous river crossing is astounding. U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimates over 7,200 have died crossing the Mexico/U.S. Border since 1998; deaths during illegal border crossings rose to 412 last year (estimate for 2017). Most authorities believe these estimates are much lower than the actual number of fatalities. While illegal migrants risk violence from thieves, criminal gangs and traffickers, most fall victim to drownings, exposure, dehydration, hypothermia, and accidents.

There is a long list of U.S Border agents who have died in the line of duty. Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez died on patrol November 19th last year. Isaac Morales was stabbed to death May 20th, 2017. Many other casualties preceded them.

Records from the Federation for American Immigration Reform about flesh and blood victims of illegal immigration:

May 6, 2017. Ingrid Lake’s car was struck by a drunk driver seriously injuring her six year old son Lennox. The driver of the vehicle Constantino Banda Acosta, was previously deported over 15 times before the accident.

January 31, 2016. Sarah Root, 21, from Omaha, Nebraska was killed when her SUV was rear-ended by Eswin Mejia, an illegal alien from Honduras, who was street racing. Sarah had just graduated from Bellevue University with a 4.0 GPA the day before she passed away. Omaha is in Douglas County, Nebraska which has sanctuary policies that impede local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with ICE officers. Mejia was charged with motor vehicular homicide but posted bond to get out of jail and was released. He is still on the run.

July 24, 2015.  Shayley Estes was killed  in Phoenix by Igor Zubko, an illegal alien from Russia.  He entered her home and fatally shot her.

January 22, 2015. Grant Ronnebeck was murdered in Mesa, Arizona by Apolinar Altamirano, an illegal alien from Mexico. The victim was  shot over a pack of cigarettes  at a convenience store. Altamirano was out on bond from a previous conviction while ICE determined whether he should be deported when he committed the crime.

March 30, 2007. Tessa Tranchant, 16, was killed  in Virginia Beach, VA. sitting at a stoplight. Alfredo Ramos, an illegal alien from Mexico who was intoxicated and speeding, rear-ended their car. Ramos had a history of prior convictions, but due to Virginia Beach’s sanctuary policies, he was never detained.

April 27, 2002, Ronald da Silva was standing with a friend in his driveway when he was shot and killed by an illegal alien who had been previously deported.

Economic and Other Societal Costs of a Broken National Immigration Policy

  • Noncitizens, Voting Violations and U.S. Elections (Report)
  • Limited English (LEP) annual education costs ($436M in Utah), $2.3B in Washington, DC metro area (Report)
  • Hiring Illegal Aliens result in more illegal immigration
  • School overcrowding from illegal immigration strains badly needed education resources
  • Labor displacement of a large population in the untapped American workforce (Report)
  • Paycheck remittances to immigrants’ country of origin reduce investment in America’s economy and makes foreign nations like Mexico dependent on the U.S. for revenues

Competing Rallies

Last Saturday, there were two rallies in San Antonio. One was the Moveon.org protest at the Main Plaza. Similar protests were held in multiple cities across the nation. Moveon.org is a hard left organization funded by George Soros. The theme of their protest rallies was “Families Belong Together” targeting the Trump administration’s border actions to control the flood of illegal border crossings.

Local San Antonio grassroots conservatives decided at the last minute to hold a rally at Travis Park on the same day. The theme was “America First: Safety and Security at the Border“. (Full disclosure – your correspondent was the MC for the rally) Speakers included George Rodriguez, Dr. Alma Arredondo-Lynch, Col. Robert Casias (ret.), Marian Knowlton, Chris Fails, and Weston Martinez. (Video) The speakers explained many facets of the complex issues surrounding our nation’s unremitting broken immigration policy, the human migration crisis at our southern border, and its impact on our national security, public safety, and the urgent need  to take action in enacting immigration reforms.

Speakers called attention to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kiersjen Nielsen’s address at the recent White House Press briefing. To  summarize her report emphasizing the severity of the crisis (excerpts):

  • In the last three months illegal immigration on our Southern Border exceed 50,000 people each month … there has been a 325 percent increase in Unaccompanied Alien Children and a 435 percent increase in family units entering the country illegally (in the past year). Over the last ten years, there has been a 1,700% increase in asylum claims, resulting in an Asylum Backlog today of 600,000 cases.
  • Since 2013, the United States has admitted more than half a million illegal immigrant minors and family units from Central America – most of whom today, are at large in the United States.
  • Large criminal organizations such as MS-13 have violated our borders and gained a deadly foothold within the United States.
  • This entire crisis … is not new. It has been occurring and expanding over many decades. Currently, it is the exclusive product of loopholes in our federal immigration laws that prevent illegal immigrant minors and family members from being detained and removed to their home countries. … these loopholes create a functionally open border. Apprehension without detention and removal is not border security.

Here are facts about how the DHS and other federal agencies are dealing with the illegal immigration crisis at the border, according to DHS Secretary Nielson – facts which run counter to the emotionally-laden hysteria expressed by critics of the administration, most of the secular “Me Too” Press propagandists, and hard left protest organizations like Moveon.org:

  • This Administration did not create a policy of separating families at the border. (The federal agencies) have a statutory responsibility … to protect alien children from human smuggling, trafficking, and other criminal actions, while enforcing our immigration laws.
  • Federal agents at the border will separate those who claim to be parent and child if it cannot be determined that a familial or custodial relationship exists … if the parent is a national security, public or safety risk, including where there are criminal charges at issue, and it may not be appropriate to maintain the family in detention together.
  • (S)eparation can occur when the parent is charged with human smuggling. Under those circumstances, we would detain the parent in an appropriate, secure detection facility, separate from the child.
  • When DHS refers a case against a parent or legal guardian for criminal prosecution, the parent or legal guardian is placed in U.S. Marshals Service custody for pre-trial detention pursuant to an order by a federal judge and any accompanying child will be transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services and reclassified as an Unaccompanied Alien Child. (If a citizen were to commit a crime anywhere in the United States, they would go to jail and be separated from their family.)
  • The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement provides meals, medical care, and educational services to these children. They are provided temporary shelter, and HHS (Health and Human Services) works hard to find a parent, relative, or foster home to care for these children.
  • A parent released from custody can be a sponsor and request HHS release the child back into their care … these minors can still apply for asylum and other protections under U.S. immigration law if eligible.
  • Allegations of mistreatment are taken seriously and are investigated … those responsible when a case occurs are held accountable. “We have some of the highest detention standards in the country Claiming these children and their parents are treated inhumanely is not true, and completely disrespects the hardworking men and women at the Office of Refugee Resettlement“.
  • Illegal entry is a crime as determined by Congress. By entering our country illegally—often in dangerous circumstances—illegal immigrants have put their children at risk.
  • DHS is not separating families legitimately seeking asylum at ports of entry… If an adult enters at a port of entry and claims asylum, they will not face prosecution for illegal entry. They have not committed a crime by coming to the port of entry.

While space does not allow a thorough analysis of the arguments put forth by the pro-amnesty and pro-open borders advocates – let’s be honest, the end goal if one follows the logic of their arguments leads you to that conclusion – those of us who follow the mainstream Press are quite familiar with these arguments. It is quite difficult to escape the Left’s uncivil, biased coverage via newsprint, broadcast, and digital news.

On this emotional issue, framed as the government’s cruel and inhumane treatment of families separated at the border, civil discourse in not possible. Logic and evidence provided by Secretary Nielsen and President Trump are drowned out and ignored. Many political observers suggest the end game is really not about the welfare of children detained at the border. It’s about destroying Trump’s presidency.

University of Pennsylvania Law School Professor Amy Wax gave a speech at Hillsdale College earlier this year titled “Are We Free to Discuss America’s Real Problems?“. Concerns she expressed about civil discourse (or lack thereof) in American universities and society at large are worthy of your attention.

Democracy thrives on talk and debate, and it is not for the faint of heart … Disliking, avoiding, and shunning people who don’t share our politics is not good for our country. We live together, and we need to solve our problems together. It is also always possible that people we disagree with have something to offer, something to contribute, something to teach us. We ignore this at our peril… The American way is to conduct free and open debate in a civil manner. We should return to doing that on our college campuses and in our society at large.”

the end

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