Failure to Uphold Immigration Laws Leads to the Death of a Deputy Sheriff

By Ronald W. Mortensen on January 25, 2010

During the past several months, I have commented on the failure of law enforcement officials to enforce the nation's immigration laws, thereby giving illegal alien criminals an advantage that they should not have.

Law enforcement officials argue that they have to give illegal aliens a pass for violating immigration laws in order to gain their confidence and support. While this may work in some cases, it also leaves violent, criminal illegal aliens free to go about their business.

The most recent example of this can be found in a rural area in western Utah where an illegal alien has been accused of killing a female deputy sheriff.

The accused killer's immigration status should not have gone unnoticed in the small community where everyone knows everyone else. After all, he had been deported multiple times and been arrested twice for illegally reentering the United States. He had even served jail time for illegal entry.

In addition, he was a known drug dealer and had sold drugs to the brother of the deputy sheriff only minutes before he killed her.

His MySpace page showed him with firearms even though both as a convicted felon and an illegal alien he was not allowed to possess firearms.

He was apparently able to readily find employment with dairy farmers in the area even though he was not authorized to work in the United States.

This is a tragedy that did not have to happen. Had the accused killer served his first prison term of 15 years rather than being released and deported after just 14 months, or had he been given the maximum sentence for reentry into the United States, he would not have been back in the community.

Had the federal government controlled the border, he would not have been in the United States.

Had the sheriff and other law enforcement officials sought the assistance of immigration authorities, they could have arrested the accused murderer at any time for illegally reentering the United States and he could have been sentenced to a long prison term.

Had anyone viewing the MySpace page of the accused killer reported his illegal possession of firearms to law enforcement, he could have been arrested.

Had local dairy farmers used E-Verify rather than turning a blind eye to his illegal status, he would not have been able to find work and may have left the area.

And had citizens of the community truly understood that illegal aliens routinely commit multiple felonies to get jobs and that they foster a culture of corruption, they may have been less accommodating to the illegal aliens in their midst.

There is enough blame to go around in this case, but it is inexcusable for law enforcement officials to let a known illegal alien continue to live and work in their jurisdiction. Had they just used the immigration laws that are already on the books, they may have saved the life of one of their own.