An illegal alien with a criminal history was ordered deported from Colorado by an immigration judge last December. In January, he sought refuge in a church and played the sympathy card in the media as if he had an entitlement not to be deported and “separated” from his family. He wasn’t deported. Now, in the ultimate avoidable death, this illegal alien with a long arrest record allegedly killed Sean Buchanan last Friday in a reckless driving crash. Mr. Buchanan is now separated from his wife and five children, permanently, in the grave.
Miguel Ramirez Valiente had the prototypical rap sheet of a criminal alien and a habitual drunk driver, yet he was never deported and was allowed to cycle in and out of the criminal justice system as if he were an American for years. He is a Salvadoran national who has been here illegally for 14 years. Valiente was arrested for reckless endangerment in 2011 and domestic violence in 2016. In 2018, he pleaded guilty to DUI and had his license revoked, according to records obtained by Denver’s Channel 7 news.
According to that local ABC affiliate, “One day before the deadly crash, his probation for that DUI was extended because he had not completed alcohol therapy and community service.” One person who knew him described Valiente as “an alcoholic and an abuser.”
Sean Buchanan was riding his motorcycle between Colorado Springs and Castle Rock on Highway 83 last Friday in preparation for a family move to a new location when he was struck by Valiente’s truck when it veered into oncoming traffic. It’s not clear yet whether Valiente was driving drunk in this incident.
The question is, how could someone be so known to authorities as a habitual public danger and also an illegal alien, yet he was going to alcohol therapy? Why was he not going to alcohol therapy in El Salvador?
Here is where the details get maddening and implicate another corrupt loophole in our system never intended by Congress. Valiente was pulled over for a traffic stop in 2011 and would have been deported, but an immigration judge granted him relief and allowed him to apply for a U-visa as a victim of a crime. Many terrible criminal aliens have abused this loophole, which was originally designed for select few individuals.
The case was reopened against Valiente after he racked up more criminal arrests, and after he failed to appear in immigration court last year, he was ordered deported in December 2018. That’s when Valiente sought refuge in the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs along with other illegal aliens. In January, he held a press conference crying about the potential for him to be separated from his family, and it was widely reported in the national media. “I can’t be separated from them,” he said. “I have always worked hard to support my family, and they depend on me.”
Well, if only he had been “separated” and removed. Sean Buchanan would still be alive. Yet because we have the rule of virtue-signaling and not the rule of law, he wasn’t deported, and we are left with no virtue but only signals. A quick search shows that not a single national media outlet (and very few local ones) picked up on the tragic sequel to Valiente’s non-deportation.
It’s also the fault of DHS for not deporting him, knowing he was a drunk driver, which is a habitual crime and a massive public safety concern. The DHS has now allowed its own discretionary policies from the Obama administration to become law without ever changing course. It has publicly announced in a 2011 memo that personnel will not go into churches for enforcement actions, thus prospectively inviting alien fugitives to hang out there and thwart the law. Now even ones with criminal convictions are going there.
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church should not escape blame and needs to be shamed for its callous disregard for human life. How many others with criminal records are they harboring? Does Rev. Nori Rost still feel he is “honoring the country’s history of providing a safe haven for those fleeing violence”? Can they at least do a background check before thwarting the law of harboring illegal aliens?
This case also demonstrates another growing dangerous trend in immigration policy. Illegal aliens are creating a special virtue-signaling exemption from the rule of law by saying that we are not allowed to have a sovereign nation if it results in their families being separated, even though they were the ones who forced themselves upon us. Not only are we refraining from prosecuting criminals at the border if it will result in a separation – a form of amnesty American criminals are not afforded – but there is this growing pressure in the media not to deport those with final orders because of separation from their kids.
Lawlessness begets lawlessness. One loophole never envisioned in statute begets another. Many illegal immigrants who never had consent to enter this country give birth to children because they are allowed to remain here longer than they should. Those children absolutely, positively are not American citizens, according to the Constitution, yet because our government wrongly views them as such, they use that against us not only to keep the children here but to then keep the parents here as well, including dangerous criminals. Imagine someone breaking into your house and unilaterally creating a rule that their kid gets to stay, and then when you at least try to push out the parent, they accuse you of separating them because they refuse to take their kid with them!
When will the Senate come back into session to fix the endless loopholes in immigration policy? When will our legislators finally ensure the laws are enforced on criminal aliens with multiple criminal offenses, as with the alleged murderer of 19 in Texas?
Friends of Sean Buchanan’s family have set up a GoFundMe account to help out the five children who have no father. Furthermore, as the account message notes, this illegal alien was driving on a revoked license and has no insurance. The family will not even be able to recover damages from the crash.
Why is Congress not doing anything about this? Why are legislators not enforcing various fines on illegal aliens written into law and using them to open an account for victims of illegal immigration? Do American families matter at all in a debate over the future sovereignty of their own country, or is it only the input of the lawbreakers and their lobbyists who matter?
Someone who cares about American victims should introduce a bill named after Sean Buchanan to enforce the fees levied upon those who fail to depart with a final deportation order (8 U.S. Code 1324d) and give those funds to American victims of illegal aliens. To the credit of the Trump administration, it has finally begun enforcing these fines. Now a member of Congress should pass a law setting aside the funds for the victims.
This case brings out the central principle behind the collapse of our sovereignty: the promise and solemn oath of protection from our government to American citizens is constantly yielding to the wants of illegal aliens. The involuntary separation of American victims by death is an acceptable casualty to our political class if it prevents temporary separation of illegal aliens who bring separation on themselves by breaking into our country.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.