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Immigration roundup

With all the attention illegal aliens are getting, sometimes I find myself feeling sorry and angry on behalf of those who actually do it right. Those immigrants who get in line, do the paperwork, follow the rules, jump through the hoops, and earn their citizenship. In fact, my sympathies (and, I confess, a touch of envy -- they will in all likelihood value their citizenship far more dearly than I, a native-born American, most likely ever will) are a large element of my outrage over those who cheat -- and those who enable them.

For example, Massachusetts Judge Robert Cornetta.

Judge Cornetta yesterday dealt with the matter of Alex Costa, an illegal alien from Brazil. Mr. Costa, while driving an unregistered car, struck and killed a Massachusetts man was walking along the streets. As I understand it, Mr. Costa left his job at Dunkin Donuts, didn't wait for his windshield to clear, and drove off. He never saw 49-year-old Richard Golin in the crosswalk until he ran him down.

At his sentencing, not only did Judge Cornetta reduce Costa's 9-month jail term to "time served," but lamented the "real cause" of the accident -- the lack of driver's education for illegal aliens.

The one brief hopeful element is that Judge Cornetta didn't release Mr. Costa, but instead ordered him turned over to Immigration for deportation. I'll be generous and say it'll be at least six months before Mr. Costa is back in the United States, most likely under another name.

But I'm sure Mr. Costa just killed a pedestrian that Americans couldn't be bothered to kill.

At the same time, I am reminded that despite the eager efforts of the pro-illegal-alien lobbies, Mr. Costa is NOT emblematic of all immigrants. He's a good symbol of the illegal immigrants, but there are a lot of others who do NOT deserved to be tarred with the same brush. For example, 100 immigrants took their oaths of citizenship in the Boston state house yesterday, and each of them is worth far more than a thousand Alex Costas.

And, thanks to Kehaar of Siflay Hraka, I find myself moved beyond words by this account of someone who grew up under the brutal yoke of communism finally achieving her life-long goal of American citizenship.

Welcome, A. W. You are exactly what we need in this nation. I would cheerfully trade a hundred -- a thousand -- Alex Costas for you.

Unfortunately, for every A. W, every Sachi, every one of those unnamed hundred people who took their oath yesterday, we have our Alex Costas by the bushel.

There HAS to be a way to separate the wheat from the chaff, and streamlining the legal process while rigorously enforcing the existing laws seems to be the most logical way.

Naturally, that is the least likely approach our government will actually take.

Comments (14)

Jay: While this story invol... (Below threshold)

Jay: While this story involves an illegal alien, it isn't really an illegal alien story. It's just (yet another) example of a judge refusing to hold accountable someone who did something stupid and illegal.

Unfortunately, it's not only illegal aliens who do stupid things that end up killing pedestrians, plenty of native born American citizens and legal immigrants can't drive worth a whit. It's not only illegal aliens who are all but let off the hook by bleeding heart judges. And it's not only Massachusetts that has idiot bleeding heart judges like Cornetta.

Hmmmm.I was with a... (Below threshold)


I was with a friend in traffic court last week.

75% of those there were illegals. How do I know they were illegals?

1. Couldn't speak english at all.
2. No insurance.
3. No registration.
4. A driver's license from North Carolina for someone living and working in New Jersey.

Don't get me started.


Agreed Jay Tea. People who want to legally immigrate are an asset. People who think that, just by crossing the border, they can do whatever they want aren't an asset here or elsewhere.

Close the borders.
Deport the illegals.
Streamline the immigration process for legal applicants.

Why is it that people who d... (Below threshold)
cate s.:

Why is it that people who do the right thing ie: waiting in line, sendingt money, staying in their home country, etc. and they get screwed? Why are we paying for people who sneak in here and act like the US owes them something? They want everything in Spanish-from laundry soap to anytime you call a bank, insurance company, whatever.
I agree 1000% with Ed, we need to get these illegals out of here and welcome those who are doing the right thing.

I go back and forth on the ... (Below threshold)

I go back and forth on the issue. I have been pretty hardline against the illegal aliens for a while, but I have been wondering what part compassion plays in the whole debate. After reading my friend's description of life in Romania under the communists, I feel more compassionate towards those that want to come to the U.S. It made their reasoning more real to me.

Though many in the world hate us, the U.S. still represents a land of liberty, justice, opportunity and wealth for the vast majority. So much so, in fact, that many are willing to risk death to come here and many die in transit.

I also took the view that those waiting patiently in line to get in legally were getting screwed by the illegals. I talked with my Romanian friend and she sees it much differently. Her view is that the system is totally broken and so bogged down in beauracracy that it takes forever to get in legally. She doesn't blame the illegals for wantin g to come and has said before that she may have tried to enter illegally if she hadn't gotten in legally. Life in Romania was that bad and the U.S. was the dream that kept her going.

So I may revise my thoughts on immigration somewhat, at least enough to take compassion for others poverty and suffering into account. I do think that entering and living here illegally is not the answer and I do not think amnesty is the answer either, but I am not so willing to take a hardline right now.

Steve,The fact tha... (Below threshold)
D. Doré:


The fact that the judge lamented the "real cause" of the accident -- the lack of driver's education for illegal aliens. makes it very much an "Illegal Alien" story.

D. Dore: no, it's still a s... (Below threshold)

D. Dore: no, it's still a stupid judge story.

No Steve it's an illegal al... (Below threshold)

No Steve it's an illegal alien story. Richard Golin would be alive today if Alex Costa wasn't in the country. You can sugar coat it all you want, but Mr Costa is not supposed to be in the United States of America. If Mr Costa were in his home country, Richard Golin would be alive today because Mr Costa would be unable to run him down. You can speculate all you want about someone else doing something "stupid and illegal" But it wasn't someone else. It was Alex Costa, a man that wasn't supposed to be in this country, but was, thereby giving him the opportunity to run down Richard Golin.

Tim: I'm sticking to my pos... (Below threshold)

Tim: I'm sticking to my position. Had the guy been given the sentence he deserved, this story would have been so far below the radar screen the only people paying attention would have been guys like Jay (who seems to have a Google IV dripping stories containing the word 'illegal' straight into his laptop). Furthermore, the argument (which you seem to be making, correct me if I am wrong) that X would be alive but for Y and therefore we have to rid of ourselves of people like Y falls apart. Test: let's say the opposite happened: an illegal immigrant saves the life of someone. Would you then advocate opening the borders so more lives can be saved, because "but for that illegal immigrant helping out, someone would have died"? And finally, singling out a single illegal immigrant as the poster child for all that is wrong with our immigration policy is what I refer to at work as a "focus group of one". It's only good for anedoctal purposes and nothing more, and is no different than some activist claiming that a single fatal accident involving an SUV proves that SUVs need to be taken off the road. Both ignore the positive benefits and both attempt to extrapolate from a single incident a behavior for the entire population... something I am sure statisticians would argue isn't valid.

Got to side with Steve Stur... (Below threshold)
John Garcia:

Got to side with Steve Sturm on this one. Except that if he had received the sentence he deserved, the illegal would be costing us tax money lanquishing in a jail cell, I say that although the reason is lame (drivers ed)the end result suits me.

Kehaar- Some months ago, I tried to voice that feeling and I wound up giving up on posting here for awhile, I felt like you currently do on this issue. I keep telling myself that it is a good sensible outlook to have though. So many things easily become partisan in this world. I think common sense, and respect for others may be riding a fence, but I would rather be there and feel good about my own soul than sell it to another for the sake of arguement.

I'll be generous a... (Below threshold)
I'll be generous and say it'll be at least six months before Mr. Costa is back in the United States, most likely under another name.

I happen to practice immigration law, and feel constrained to comment on the above quote.

If this guy is "removed" (deported) as he most assuredly will be, it will be with a conviction for an "aggravated felony" on his record. That definition will almost certainly apply no matter what sentence is given by the state law judge.

Being deported for an aggravated felony means you can NEVER return to the USA legally. The removal order will forever bar him from coming back. Re-entering in violation of that order is a very serious federal crime, punishable for up to 20 years in the federal pen. If Mr. Costa returns and is caught, he will surely be prosecuted for the federal crime, and will be in mandatory detention the entire time. These illegal aliens are among the immigration service's highest enforcement priorities.

So I consider the "six months before Mr. Costa is back in the United States" comment to be a real distortion of the seriousness of this case, and how our legal system responds. Our immigration enforcement types, including federal prosecutors, do not tolerate people like this, period.

Redhand, he wasn't here leg... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Redhand, he wasn't here legally in the first place. He may have entered legally and simply overstayed his welcome, but it's also possible he simply sneaked across the border. Lord knows enough do that every day now. That black mark on his record won't stop him at the border.

So, yeah, he can't get back here legally. But all he has to do is sneak back across the border, use a different name, and keep a low profile, and the odds of him getting caught and sent back are pretty slim.


I admit I don't know the st... (Below threshold)

I admit I don't know the statistics on this, and there's the age-old issue of the certainty of apprehension and punishment being more important to deterrence than the severity of punishment. From that perspective I agree with you.

However, I'm certain that he'd be dead meat if he returned and had a run in with the law. In the absence of good ID he'd get fingerprinted and the local cops would contact ICE and do an alien check. Once a detainer is put on him it'd be all over.

I also agree that meaningful border control is essential. I see nothing wrong with fences and controlled areas to keep new illegals out. As a political matter it's an essential requirement for dealing constructively with the 12M who entered illegally or overstayed.

Of course, we might differ on what that "constructive" treatment should be. But that's a discussion for another time.

"New Shimmer is a fl... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

"New Shimmer is a floor wax!"

"No, new Shimmer is a dessert topping!"

"Stop! You're both right!"

"Immigration roundup"... (Below threshold)

"Immigration roundup"

Good one. It cracks me up!






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