The video of a crying 11-year-old girl is being used by the Left to militate against enforcing our sovereignty and immigration laws. Apparently the rule should be that anyone can come here and remain here illegally if they have a child, because enforcing our laws will result in hardship to the kids. But no such heart-tugging imagery exists for all the girls raped and harmed by criminal aliens thanks to the lack of enforcement or loopholes in our laws. The latest atrocity involves a different 11-year-old girl who will never be seen on camera.
Yesterday, WJLA news reported that Montgomery County, Maryland, police arrested two illegal aliens from El Salvador, Mauricio Barrera-Navidad, 29, and Carlos Palacios-Amaya, 28, for raping an 11-year-old child known to the alleged attackers. The investigation was triggered by a discussion the child had with a school social worker last month, and the rapes are alleged to have occurred last September.
In September 2018, the victim was introduced to her older brother’s friend, Palacios-Amaya. Over the course of the next few months, the then 27-year-old man raped the middle schooler on multiple occasions, authorities allege. The victim recalled one instance where Palacios-Amaya “used his cell phone to video record the two of them having sex,” police noted in court documents.
The victim told the social worker that Palacios-Amaya would often pressure her not to attend school so that she could stay home while her parents were at work. That gave Palacios-Amaya unsupervised access to the girl.
Palacios-Amaya is charged with four counts of second-degree rape, and Barrera-Navidad is charged with one.
This story demonstrates, once again, that the people harmed the most by the lack of enforcement can be immigrant or illegal immigrant children. While the identity of a child victim is never released, it’s clear from the story that her older brother was friends with these individuals and they likely traveled in the same circles.
ICE spokeswoman Justine Whelan provided CR with the same statement regarding the immigration status of the accused as in the local ABC news report:
On July 25, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged a detainer with the Montgomery County (Maryland) Detention Center on Carlos Ernesto Palacios-Amaya, a Salvadoran national, and a repeat immigration violator, following his arrest for rape. Palacios was previously removed from the U.S. in 2014.
On July 26, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged a detainer with the Montgomery County (Maryland) Detention Center on Mauricio Barrera-Navidad, a Salvadoran national, unlawfully present in the United States, following his arrest for rape. Barrera is subject to a final order of removal that was issued by an immigration judge in December 2016.
Sadly, it’s unlikely that a single elected Republican, the DHS secretary, or anyone in the White House will even mention this horrific story, much less ask the salient public policy questions that Congress and the DHS must grapple with. Ken Cuccinelli, the acting USCIS director, seems to be the only member of government interested in highlighting these cases. Some questions that should be fodder for public hearings and debate over legislation, as well as changes in DHS policies, include:
Both parties, including the president, are now talking about “universal background checks,” red flag laws, assault weapons bans, and what can be done to avoid shootings. But why is there no discussion about what can be done to avoid keeping bad people in this country who don’t belong here? What about universal background checks on those coming to the border? Clearly, many are getting through without being thoroughly vetted in the rush to release anyone coming in with a child.
Also, what about the effort to push back against sanctuary cities? Last month, Montgomery County executive Marc Elrich signed an executive order directing county agencies never to ask about one’s immigration status nor cooperate with ICE. That is in direct defiance of the law requiring that illegal aliens not go undetected by law enforcement.
As Maryland and surrounding D.C.-area counties in Virginia become sanctuaries, it is also the area with the largest concentration of Salvadoran immigrants. This has attracted large groups of MS-13. In May, two MS-13 teens were charged with brutally dismembering a 14-year-old girl. They were arrested on murder charges the year before, but neighboring Prince George’s County, also a sanctuary, ignored an ICE detainer. In March, three MS-13 members who were settled in the area as “UAC” refugees were charged with a similar heinous murder.
In July, a Salvadoran illegal alien who was charged with child sex crimes and breaking into the home of the child was released by a liberal judge on just a $500 payment to the court. No thanks to the local law enforcement, ICE thankfully caught up with the perpetrator and apprehended him.
Our immigration laws are designed to ensure that not a single immigrant is a charge to Americans – on criminal grounds, health grounds, or financial grounds. Yet we have endless cases of illegal criminal aliens remaining in the country indefinitely to harm us. Why is there no full-court press by any Republicans – from the president to the Senate majority leader – on a safety and security agenda focusing on the bad people, not objects? That begins with bad people of other countries who can be removed.
As I wrote in my book, Stolen Sovereignty, even before federal immigration laws were on the books, the State Department regulated prospective immigrants.
Writing to a diplomat in Switzerland in December 1881, James Blaine, secretary of state for President Chester Arthur, expressed the following commonsense principle on immigration held by every great American leader—from our Founders until fairly recently: “While, under the Constitution and the laws, this country is open to the honest and the industrious immigrant, it has no room outside of its prisons or almshouses for depraved and incorrigible criminals or hopelessly dependent paupers who may have become a pest or burden, or both, to their own country.”
What has happened to our values on immigration? Why is it too much to ask that we know who comes into this country?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.