NOT THE SHARPEST KNIVES IN THE DRAWER: Guns Don’t Kill People; Illegal Immigrants With Guns Kill People

In the wake of the execution-style murders of three promising students – a fourth is fighting for her life in the ICU - Newark mayor Cory Booker tells
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, "There is something going on in our country that people are not, for some reason, awake to." Herbert asks what the solution is to this problem – violent crime – and Booker answers, "It’s not law enforcement."

Herbert notes, "the biggest mistake one could make … is to view it as a problem peculiar to Newark." As usual, his focus is so narrow (gun violence) he fails to see the bigger picture. As the facts of this case emerge, it is clear the problem is not peculiar to Newark. But it’s a problem – sanctuary cities - that only law enforcement can solve, if permitted to.

The alleged ringleader of the group of young thugs involved in the slayings is Jose Carranza, 28, an illegal immigrant from Peru who is accused of aggravated assault for allegedly attacking three men with a bottle and a chair during an October 2006 bar fight in West Orange. Earlier this year he was also indicted on 31 counts of sexual assault, raping, groping and sodomizing a little girl in his care over a four-year period when she was 5 to 9. In both cases, he was able to post bail.

The Star-Ledger (Newark) examines in great detail all the reasons "Carranza was not in jail awaiting trial, or in detention as an illegal immigrant":

[R]outine bail procedures and wide gaps between law enforcement and immigration policy worked in Carranza's favor …

Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow declined to comment on whether her office had reported Carranza's illegal status to immigration officials after his two previous arrests.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said they had scoured their records and found no such notification. …

Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for Dow's office, said its policy is to refer cases of illegal aliens to federal immigration authorities only after the defendant is convicted and sentenced. He said to do otherwise would risk having the defendant immediately deported before he could be punished for the crime. …

The federal government encourages, but does not require, local authorities to contact ICE when they arrest someone who appears to be in the country illegally. ICE can place a detainer on the suspect, notifiying jailers that it should be notified before the suspect is released so the agency can seek deportation. After Carranza's arrest on the murder charge, a detainer was issued.

Mike Cutler, a retired federal immigration officer, said Essex County officials should have notified ICE after the earlier arrests, especially given the severity of the allegations against Carranza. If the two agencies were cooperating, Cutler said, immigration agents could have provided evidence for prosecutors to argue at Carranza's bail hearing that he might be a flight risk. …

So what’s Gov. Jon Corzine’s solution? You guessed it: "tougher gun laws."

Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello has a better idea: deputizing his town’s police department to participate in a national program run by ICE that trains local law enforcement to find and arrest illegal aliens.


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