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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 2:59 pm | Fair 61º


Ron Fink: Criminal Illegal Aliens Have Got to Go

Where are our elected representatives when we need them? Hiding, that’s where.
Recently a horrendous assault, rape and murder occurred in Santa Maria. 

Who did it? An illegal alien that had been deported more than once, convicted of several misdemeanor crimes and sought by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) for deportation — that’s who.

He was released from custody by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s department prior to the murder and Sheriff Bill Brown says he was only following the law. 

He is right, but there are more ways than one to follow the law.

According to a Noozhawk report “A decision in a federal court case, Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County from 2014, also said that holding a person in custody based solely upon an ICE immigration detainer request may violate the individual’s constitutional rights.” 

How come a criminal illegal alien has any constitutional rights?

This crime and many others like it could have been prevented, but liberal politicians got in the way.

Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin properly described the trail of death as leading from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, through Sacramento and federal courts to the death scene. 

Liberal democrats like our own Congresswoman Lois Capps, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson have supported laws and policies that have created safe havens for these murderous illegal aliens.

They are not the only democrats who pander to illegal aliens. 

In Los Angeles County, which is dominated by liberal democrats, the Board of Supervisors directed the sheriff’s department to end a long standing contract with ICE that allowed them to have office space in the jail so that they could evaluate releases and hold criminals for deportation. Of course, these were folks who had a criminal history, not your ordinary illegal alien who was following all the other rules and maintaining a low profile.

To be clear, there are two classes of illegal aliens. The first are those who come here with good intentions, work and live among us and simply want a better life. They cause no trouble and are not the issue here.

Then there is a small group of highly visible misfits who break many laws and commit serious crimes — these are the folks that are the immediate problem.

It’s time to stop pandering to the misguided notion that all illegal aliens are here for honorable purposes. 

Any illegal alien who commits a crime needs to be deported, and if they return, they need to be imprisoned and then shipped out again. 

As witnessed in Santa Maria and many other communities across the nation the catch and release strategy used today simply doesn’t work.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors could fix this, but considering the liberal bent of the three south coast supervisors, I doubt that they have the ability to comprehend how serious this situation is. 

How many more murders and rapes will it take for them to view this issue from the viewpoint of the victims?

Sheriff Brown could also solve this problem, as his colleague did in Kern County.

According to a report in July by KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News in Bakersfield, Sheriff Donny Youngblood allowed ICE officers to work in the county jail. 

"Under this collaborative effort, convicted criminal aliens who pose a potential public safety threat will be remanded to ICE custody upon completion of their jail terms, rather than being released to the street," he said.

This proactive Sheriff complied with the law and still managed to solve the problem.

"ICE will only deport people that have been convicted of certain felonies and up to three misdemeanors," Youngblood said. "And quite frankly, who in our community would want someone that's in our community illegally that's convicted of a felony or of three misdemeanors to stay in our community? I'm sorry; I just don't know who would want that."

If this policy had been in place in our county, Victor Martinez, an illegal alien from Mexico who had been previously arrested at least four times, wouldn’t have been on our streets and wouldn’t have tortured and killed an innocent woman.

There may be light at the end of the tunnel: Supervisor Steve Lavagnino has called for a public hearing to be held on Sep. 8 to discuss the criminal justice process.  

I speculate that this will once again result in a split 3-2 vote, with all three south coast supervisors opposing any effort to take positive and effective measures to prevent criminal illegal aliens from roaming our streets.

Instead of protecting the law abiding citizens of this county, they will once again pander to the very narrow view that it is unfair to deport any illegal alien, even if they have demonstrated a potential to commit multiple crimes.

It’s time to fix the problem and stop trying to appease special interest groups. 

Criminal illegal aliens have to be expelled from our community; the others can stay until politicians can figure out what to do.

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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