It sounds surreal: An illegal immigrant with a years-old rap sheet has to pay just a few hundred bucks after a vehicle crash killed two law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, this actually happened in Maryland. The fatal wreck occurred on Dec. 8, 2017, when Guatemalan national Roberto Garza Palacios “fatally struck an FBI agent and a fire investigator on the side of a Maryland highway,” The Washington Post reports. Yet on June 25, Garza Palacios “paid a $280 fine, concluding a case of negligent driving lodged against him.” The illegal immigrant “did not have to appear in court and did not receive jail time.”
According to the Post, “While he drove in a ‘careless and imprudent manner,’ prosecutors found, his actions did not rise to a ‘gross deviation’ from careful driving or a ‘reckless disregard’ for human life — the conditions needed to support more-serious charges.” But that’s hardly all there is to this heart-wrenching story. The Post further notes:
On May 3, officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement took [Roberto Garza Palacios] into custody at his home in Gaithersburg and charged him with overstaying and violating the terms of a work visa that had expired in 2009, according to ICE officials. Three years earlier, ICE learned he had been arrested in Montgomery County and asked jail officials to place a hold on him, but that request was not honored and Garza Palacios was released, according to county and federal officials. … Garza Palacios had previous traffic and criminal convictions. In a 2015 case, he pleaded guilty to driving while impaired. Around that time, he also served about four months in jail after being arrested for smashing windows on about 16 cars and lighting a sofa on fire near a construction site. After the traffic case concluded, [one of the victim’s widows] said that particularly given Garza Palacios’s record, the penalty in the recent case seemed woefully inadequate.
No kidding. Authorities are currently determining whether Garza Palacios should be deported (that’s a no-brainer), but two deaths could have been avoided had Garza Palacios been deported when he was originally flagged and had he not been afforded sanctuary despite his record. Today, the Left wants to abolish ICE. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) even called the agency a “deportation force.” Yet Garza Palacios’ evading deportation resulted in two people being needlessly killed. Whether intentional or not, this is what open-borders advocates condone.