Atroc­ity in Ne­wark

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

Af­ter the hor­rific, ex­e­cu­tion-style mur­ders of three New Jer­sey youths in a school­yard two weeks ago, po­lice have ar­rested one man with no right to be in the United States and are search­ing for an­other. Peru­vian na­tional Jose Car­ranza, 28, now in cus­tody, had pre­vi­ously been charged with rap­ing a 5-year-old girl, yet was re­leased de­spite his im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus and de­spite the charges. The other sus­pect, 24-year-old Nicaraguan Rodolfo An­to­nio Godinez Gomez, was or­dered de­ported in 1993 but has since ac­cu­mu­lated a rap sheet of rob­bery, as­sault and weapons ar­rests in this coun­try. Two mi­nors are also in cus­tody. The two adult sus­pects raise two sep­a­rate pol­icy is­sues: The ques­tion of whether il­le­gal aliens ac­cused of vi­o­lent crime should ever be granted bail, and se­condly the en­force­ment of im­mi­gra­tion laws al­ready on the books.

The un­usual cru­elty and sense­less­ness of th­ese mur­ders has shocked even a crime­hard­ened city like Ne­wark. The vic­tims, three of whom were col­lege stu­dents at Delaware State Univer­sity, and a fourth, their close friend, were be­hind Ne­wark’s Mount Ver­non School the evening of Aug. 4 when a band of as­sailants an­nounced a rob­bery. They shot 19-year-old Natasha Aeriel from be­hind and pro­ceeded to line up Dashon Har­vey, age 20, Ter­rance Aeriel, 18, and Iofemi Hightower, 20, along a wall. They killed all three ex­e­cu­tion-style with bul­lets to the back of the head. Only 19-year-old Natasha sur­vived. She will re­quire ex­ten­sive plas­tic surgery be­cause the shot which pierced the back of her head ex- ited through her face.

By law and by com­mon sense, il­le­gal aliens with vi­o­lent his­to­ries de­serve the fast track for im­pris­on­ment. But one of the ac- cused, known by U.S. of­fi­cials to be in the coun­try il­le­gally, was granted bail af­ter be­ing charged with child rape. Il­le­gal aliens by def­i­ni­tion have al­ready flouted civil law and thus should be con­sid­ered a flight risk. Bail should be out of the ques­tion.

The other sus­pect, also an il­le­gal alien, was 14 years past his de­por­ta­tion or­der, which makes his case a mat­ter for law en­force­ment. De­spite his his­tory of vi­o­lent be­hav­ior, he was re­leased re­peat­edly. This is an ab­di­ca­tion of re­spon­si­bil­ity in U.S. im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment. U.S. au­thor­i­ties and the elected of­fi­cials who are ul­ti­mately re­spon­si­ble for pol­icy will need to an­swer for the han­dling of the ac­cused if the sus­pects are found guilty.

The last salient fact: The pub­lic has spo­ken time and again of the need to crack down on vi­o­lent crime com­mit­ted by il­le­gal aliens. No in­ter­est group or lobby will stand in the way of find­ing and im­pris­on­ing il­le­gal aliens who com­mit vi­o­lent crime. What­ever one‘s po­si­tion on the larger im­mi­gra­tion ques­tion, there should be com­mon ground: There can be no place in the United States for th­ese crim­i­nals.

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