The mainstream media’s account of Matthew Denice’s violent murder last August glossed over the immigration angle. The version it offered regarding Denice’s death paled by comparison to the full grisly story.
Nicolas Guaman, a drunk, unlicensed Ecuadoran alien, hit 23-year-old Denice while the recent college IT graduate rode his motorcycle. But Guaman did not immediately kill Denice who was stuck under the alien’s truck. As Guaman dragged Denice’s body for nearly one-quarter of a mile, witnesses to no avail pounded on his truck and screamed at him to stop.
When Guaman’s vehicle finally spun off the road and as he tried to escape, Denice’s body was repeatedly run over before the alien fled the scene. Guaman has pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges against him including second degree murder and manslaughter while driving a motor vehicle.
Weeks later, the ugly details about Guaman gradually filtered out. His criminal record included multiple D.U.I.’s and assaulting a police officer (in connection with his home invasion arrest) for which he received probation, a slap on the wrist.
Secure Communities, which Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick opposes, could have saved Denice’s life. The federal program helps Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) coordinate efforts with state and local police to find and remove criminal illegal immigrants.
After Denice’s death, Patrick said:
“Illegal immigration didn’t kill this person. Drunken driving killed this person and we have laws about that.” [Watch Patrick’s statement here; note to Patrick: “this person” has a name: Matthew Denice]
Since Denice’s death, his mother Maureen Maloney and several bipartisan legislators have keep the heat on to promote sensible and potentially life-saving immigration policies. During a late February Massachusetts Judiciary Committee hearing, the group backed two bills (S. 2061 and H. 3913) that would stiffen penalties for unlicensed driving, punish landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, require drivers to present a Social Security number or tax ID number to register a vehicle and demand that the Patrick administration report on its efforts to join Secure Communities. [Strong Testimony at State House Hearing on Immigration Rules, by Kyle Cheney, Martha’s Vineyard Times, February 28, 2012]
In her defense of the tougher penalties and over the protests of attending open borders advocates, Maloney testified before the committee.
"My son paid the ultimate price with his life because Massachusetts is a safe haven for illegal immigrants. The real question I ask is, Why would illegal immigrants not come to Massachusetts when we are so willing to provide them with jobs and free services they could not get in their native countries?"
A Facebook page, Justice for Matt, is here. Read the Boston Globe op-ed written by Center for Immigration Studies Senior Policy Analyst Jessica Vaughn and titled Immigration and Secure Communities here.