View From Lodi, CA: Mexico And Washington Creating Criminal Alien Scandal
On April 29, 2002 Armando Garcia, a Mexican
illegally in California, shot and killed Los
Angeles County Deputy Sheriff David March during
a routine traffic stop.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley has
asked the federal government to seek a diplomatic
solution with Mexico to extradite Garcia back to
California. But the Mexican government is unlikely to
consider any proposal that does not include reducing the
charges against Garcia from first-degree murder to
manslaughter or assault with a deadly weapon.
Refusals from Mexico to extradite violent criminals
are par for the course.
Since October 2, 2001, when the Mexican Supreme Court
ruled that Mexico`s goal for violent offenders is
criminal rehabilitation, the U.S. has been unable to
persuade Mexico to extradite murders and rapists back to
America for prosecution.
Mexico has become a safe haven for many nationals who
commit violent crime in the U.S. For the price of a bus
ticket the lowest of the low can breathe free in Mexico.
Here are a few examples:
Daniel Perez who shot his estranged wife and
killed her father. Perez had prior convictions for
attempted first-degree murder, spousal battery,
kidnapping and stalking.
Alvaro Luna Jara is charged with the murder of a
12-year-old boy and the attempted murder of three
others. Although Jara is not a Mexican national,
Mexico refused to extradite him because his parents
Juan Manuel Casillas shot (in the back) and killed
his 17-year-old ex-girl friend and her 15-year-old
female cousin on their way to high-school
- Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, a
Roman Catholic priest, who is charged with 19 counts
of child molestation.
Los Angeles County officials estimate that from L.A.
alone more than 60 suspected killers have fled to Mexico
U.S. prosecutors have four unsatisfactory options:
- Refuse to seek extradition and thereby let
murderers escape scot-free.
- Seek extradition but comply with Mexico`s demands
for reduced charges.
- Seek extradition, refuse assurances and have the
matter convert to an Article IV prosecution under
Mexican penal law.
- Seek prosecution under Article IV as above.
In reality, prosecutors are subject to the
Mexican government`s whim.
Amazingly, the U.S. federal government, despite
written requests from all 50 states` attorney generals,
has not lifted a finger to help.
Recently, Cooley visited Attorney General
John Ashcroft to plead his case. Follow-up letters
Secretary of State Colin Powell, Senators Barbara
Dianne Feinstein and all other 98 U.S. Senators have
been mostly ignored.
Deputy Los Angeles County District Attorney and
Director Janice Maurizi has a Freedom of Information Act
request at the Department of Justice for extradition
here for a transcript of
a debate between Maurizi and Jorge Garcia Villalobos of
the Los Angeles Mexican Consul`s office. (Scroll down.)] The
10-day period allowed for a DOJ reply expired three
Keith Richman introduced Assembly Joint Resolution
51 urging the Public Safety Committee to recognize the
importance of extraditing criminals back to California.
The measure failed when Democrats
Jackie Goldberg and
Fred Keeley voted against.
Said Richman, “It is outrageous that we cannot get
unanimous support for this measure.”
Maurizi, who addressed the P.S.C., insisted
“California stand up to demand action by our Federal
government to prevent the infringement on our sovereign
right to protect our citizens and prosecute and punish
for crimes committed on our soil.”
If the federal government isn`t interested in justice
on behalf of the victims of heinous crimes, what is it
For one thing, eighteen members of the House
Judiciary Committee are concerned about protecting the
H.R. 1452, ludicrously named “The Family
Reunification Act of 2002” would repeal mandatory
detention of criminal aliens and create a loophole that
would allow certain criminal aliens to avoid
deportation. Those already deported could return to the
U.S. to pursue reinstatement.
An I.N.S. review of thousands of criminal alien cases
potential terrorists roam throughout the country
unchecked would be an absurd misuse of time and assets.
House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt has a
more preposterous idea–an amnesty for 10 million
illegal aliens. Because so many millions live in the
U.S. illegally, any amnesty would absolutely include
terrorists and criminals.
This, of course, is much less important to Gephardt
than the prospect of Latino votes for Democratic
Here`s the sad summary of this column. When Mexico
wants something from the U.S. (driver`s
in-state tuition for illegal aliens,
consular identification cards,
amnesty) waves of delegations come north to lobby
hard. The U.S. government snaps to attention.
But if the U.S. wants something from Mexico as basic
as the extradition of a cop-killer, we get the cold
As for all of that talk from President George W. Bush
and the other transparent phonies in D.C. about Homeland
Security, you can forget it.
Votes count more.