By Joe Guzzardi
July 29, 2015
Out of Ohio comes the latest, but certainly not the last, incident of a murder committed by an illegal alien. On July 7, Lake County authorities approached Juan Emmanuel Raza, a self-admitted unlawful immigrant, when they found him behaving suspiciously outside the local golf course. Upon learning that Raza is an illegal immigrant, law enforcement called U.S. Customs and Border Protection which refused to take him into custody.
Two weeks later, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Raza, a longtime U.S. resident, allegedly tried to rape his 14-year-old niece, fired five shots and wounded a woman strolling on a bike path, then shot and killed 60-year-old Margaret Kostelnik in her home. After a shootout with local police, Raza surrendered. Raza had no identification; his real name cannot be confirmed.
At Raza’s arraignment hearing, the judge established bond at $10 million. Raza’s crime spree is another sad but inevitable consequence of President Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration law, and his directives to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security to release instead of detain aliens, even if they have criminal records. Had CPB held Raza, he could not have committed his violent acts.
In the emotional national debate about which lives matter, one thing is clear: the lives of African-Americans, Hispanics and whites killed by illegal immigrants are inconsequential. To this day, from the White House down to the lowest ranking San Francisco Board of Supervisors official, no one has reached out to Kate Steinle’s family.
Kate’s death has turned into an ugly political football. The Republican-controlled House passed legislation that would defund notoriously dangerous sanctuary cities like San Francisco. The vote is only symbolic because President Obama vowed to veto the bill should it reach his desk. Democrats have ratcheted up the rhetoric by calling efforts to ban sanctuary cities the “Donald Trump” act, a reference to the presidential candidate’s statements that illegal immigration is a significant problem that Americans want solved through tough border security measures.
On July 27, concerned citizens gathered at San Francisco’s Pier 14, the site of Kate’s murder, to protest sanctuary policies that protect aliens, put citizens at risk, and lead to preventable capital crimes like murder and rape. One attendee was Maria Espinoza whose Remembrance Project lists illegal aliens’ victims’ names. The crimes date back to 1990 and the victims range in age from 5-year-old Blake Cohorn to 93-year-old Louise Sollowin. Alfredo Diaz-Diaz, unlicensed, killed Cohorn while he was driving drunk in the wrong direction. His car struck the vehicle young Blake was traveling in. Sergio Martinez-Perez raped, then beat Sollowin to death in her house.
In her letter to the 50 states’ governors, Espinoza proposed the Citizens of Illegal Alien Crime Services program. Blaming the federal government for its steadfast refusal to deport illegal immigrants, Espinoza proposes that state and local governments cooperate with social and legal agencies to ensure that victims’ families secure pro-bono representation as well as referrals to the appropriate social services providers.
U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) summed up Americans’ sentiments about sanctuary cities. Said Gowdy, “Those of us who have daughters saw our daughter in Kate Steinle.” The White House is unwilling to provide even token protection against criminal aliens. Between 2010 and 2014, ICE released aliens who subsequently killed 121 citizens. Former Federal Bureau of Investigate agent Ron Hosko recently noted that three unlawful immigrants are on the FBI’s most wanted list.
If death can strike in bucolic Lake County, anyone, anywhere could be the next victim.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]