View From Lodi, CA: Mexico And Washington Creating Criminal Alien Scandal

On April 29, 2002 Armando Garcia, a Mexican

in California, shot and killed Los
Angeles County Deputy Sheriff David March during
a routine traffic stop.

Garcia, thrice

and previously charged on two counts of
attempted murder,

fled to Mexico.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley has

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

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.

According to the Mexican Supreme Court, a sentence of
either death or life imprisonment if imposed by U.S.
courts would violate the

Mexican constitution
and is

“cruel and unusual punishment.”

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
for sanctuary.

U.S. prosecutors have four unsatisfactory options: 

  1. Refuse to seek extradition and thereby let
    murderers escape scot-free.

  1. Seek extradition but comply with Mexico`s demands
    for reduced charges.

  1. Seek extradition, refuse assurances and have the
    matter convert to an Article IV prosecution under
    Mexican penal law.

  1. 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
to Ashcroft,

Secretary of State
Colin Powell, Senators Barbara
Boxer and

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
statistics. [Click

for a transcript of
a debate between Maurizi and Jorge Garcia Villalobos of
the Los Angeles Mexican Consul`s office. (Scroll down.)]
10-day period allowed for a DOJ reply expired three
weeks ago.

California Assemblyman

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
Carl Washington,
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
interested in?

For one thing, eighteen members of the House
Judiciary Committee are concerned about protecting the
“rights” of

criminal aliens.

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.

Among those who would benefit from
which passed Committee, are those convicted of
assault, arson,

, child pornography,

alien smuggling

document fraud

California Congressmen who voted yes on this
outrageous legislation are

Darrell Issa,
Adam Schiff,

Maxine Waters
and Zoe Lofgren.

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

) 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.

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English
at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly
column since 1988. It currently appears in the

Lodi News-Sentinel