Support of criminals and illegal aliens by many wayward churches is touted as the ultimate expression of compassion rooted in Biblical values. But it’s merely virtue-signaling – and not of virtues. Nowhere is this more evident than in the harboring of criminal aliens.
On Thursday, police in Annapolis, Maryland, arrested Jose Argueta, 44, an illegal alien from El Salvador, on 19 child sex assault charges. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl on four occasions and taking pornographic images of her during several of those incidents since mid-December.
“It was obvious that there was a lot of information confirming that this had happened and also photographs unfortunately–pornographic images of this child,” said Sgt. Amy Miguez of the Annapolis Police Department in an interview with reporters.
ICE lodged a detainer with the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on the day of the arrest, but for now Argueta is being held without bail.
How did Argueta have access to her? According to police, he met her while serving as a van driver for a local church, transporting the victim and her family to their church in Glen Burnie, Maryland, where Argueta also lived. Glen Burnie is a suburb of Baltimore on the south side in Anne Arundel County and has seen a massive influx of Central Americans in recent years, just like neighboring Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
What is further troubling is that, according to court records, Argueta had a history of traffic violations and a DUI. Yet he had a valid Maryland trucking license. How was someone like this able to remain in the country and openly drive for a church? The entire purpose of the 1986 amnesty deal was to make it illegal for someone here unlawfully to work. This alleged crime was therefore 100 percent preventable.
The name of the church has not been publicized, but one has to wonder whether the church even cared to verify his immigration status or if church authorities actually knew he was an illegal alien. Harboring criminals tends to lead to more criminal activity – in this case, the terrible crime of child molestation.
All these politicians, civic leaders, and alleged religious leaders think they are doing the Lord’s work by harboring fugitives and criminals, among them many violent criminals. As I’ve reported before, Central America, particularly the rural areas from which many illegal aliens have come, have a cultural problem of child marriages, in which sex with teenage girls is considered more normal than it is here. There is also an epidemic of gang recruitment among Salvadorans in Maryland, more than in almost any state. This is why virtue-signaling is no virtue; it’s cruelty. Any effort by politicians, churches, or businesses in a state like Maryland to harbor illegal aliens will result in more preventable crimes.
Last year, Miguel Ramirez Valiente, an illegal alien from El Salvador, 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.”
The church took him in despite his prior conviction for DUI and arrests for reckless endangerment and domestic violence. In August, he again drove recklessly and separated a father of five from his family permanently, in the grave, killing the father when Valiente’s truck swerved into the father’s motorcycle.
Just one year’s worth of illegal aliens subject to detainers have a collective rap sheet of charges including: 2,500 homicides, 56,000 assaults, 14,500 sex crimes, 5,000 robberies, and 2,500 kidnappings. And those are just the ones they catch. That’s some compassion these churches are promoting. It looks like these churches need to go back to the basics of Bible study before they educate themselves on immigration policy.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.