Jose and Anna Pacheco and their 10-year-old son Angel were sleeping Saturday night in their trailer home in Sutter County, California. But Ismael Huazo-Jardinez, a previously deported illegal alien, was allegedly driving drunk, missed a turn on the road, and slammed straight into the trailer, killing the three Pachecos, leaving the severely injured 11-year-old daughter, Mariana, as the only surviving member of the family.
The ink had barely dried on my column last week about two unreported illegal alien alleged DUI manslaughters in California when news broke about this triple fatality resulting from alleged drunk driving. I suspected this was yet another unreported illegal alien vehicular homicide. Initially, I didn’t hear any news back from ICE about a detainer, so I assumed there was no way an illegal alien who had killed three people could have been let out on $300,000 bond and therefore presumed the suspect was a citizen. But evidently that was the case, because ICE’s Fugitive Operations Team arrested Jardinez on Tuesday and is holding him pending the criminal proceedings.
According to ICE spokesman Paul Prince, “Ismael Huazo-Jardinez is an illegally present Mexican national.” He told CR in a statement that “the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended him in Arizona and granted him voluntary return to Mexico in February 2011.”
Yet thanks to the sanctuary of California, the suspect, like many other criminals, was incentivized to come back and must have returned to the state sometime afterwards.
According to the local CBS affiliate, Huazo-Jardinez was granted bail the next day, despite protests from the California Highway Patrol. Thanks to new state laws and judicial guidance, criminals booked in jail are rarely denied bail, and many are now released even without bond.
The fact that our border is wide open and so many criminals can come back is disturbing enough. But this is yet another case where despite another arrest of the criminal, he was not turned over to ICE. According to the local sheriff’s office, as reported by the local NBC affiliate, Huazo-Jardinez had a prior conviction for reckless driving.
What’s worse is that even after he was arrested again for a triple vehicular homicide, he was still released without being turned over to ICE. It appears that ICE had to get him on their own. How many thousands of illegal aliens are in this country with criminal records, have been allowed to go free, and ICE is not even aware of their existence? By definition, every crime that is committed by these individuals is completely avoidable.
There seems to be a Californian killed almost every day by illegal alien DUIs alone. It would take a full-time beat reporter to cover all these cases and to verify their immigration status. I’ve been bombarding ICE with requests for information on various crimes that appear likely to involve illegal aliens, but certain privacy policies often make it difficult to verify the exact immigration history when the aliens are in local custody.
The bottom line is that so long as there is an incentive for people to come to places like California and be treated on the same or better footing than citizens even after being arrested for a crime, there will continue to be more dead Americans resulting from bad guys pouring over our border.
To this day, even the GOP-controlled Senate has refused to vote on any meaningful anti-sanctuary legislation. It’s surprising that Congress will not make it a top priority headed into the election to require local authorities to turn over every individual arrested with a “no match” fingerprint, indicating the suspect is an alien.
For now, ICE is trying to step up its enforcement even without the help of California law enforcement. “Individuals who enter our country illegally and commit crimes must not be released back into our communities where they are able to harm others,” said Erik Bonnar, acting field office director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) San Francisco, in a statement to CR. “This is an important matter of public safety.”
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is committed to identifying and apprehending removable aliens, detaining these individuals when necessary and removing illegal aliens from the United States,” said Bonnar. “Members of the ICE (San Francisco) Fugitive Operations Team made good on this commitment today when they prioritized resources to apprehend Ismael Huazo-Jardinez.”
“I am proud that ICE San Francisco continues to contribute to the safety of our communities through its tireless efforts, pursuing and apprehending illegal aliens that pose a threat to our public safety,” Bonnar added.
A GoFundMe that says it was posted by a cousin of the family has been set up for Mariana, who will face a future without her parents.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the name of ICE spokesman Paul Prince from “Eric Prince.” CR regrets the error.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.