Mur­der, may­hem and il­le­gal en­try

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

At the funeral of Iofemi Hightower, her class­mate Mecca Ali wore a T-shirt with the slo­gan: “Tell Me Why They Had To Die.” “They” are Miss Hightower, Dashon Har­vey and Ter­rance Aeriel, three young cit­i­zens of Ne­wark, N.J., lined up against a school­yard wall, forced to kneel, and then shot in the head.

Miss Ali poses an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion. No one can say why they “had” to die, but it ought to be pos­si­ble to ad­vance the­o­ries as to what fac­tors make vi­o­lent death in Ne­wark a more likely propo­si­tion than it should be. That’s usu­ally what hap­pens when lurid cases make na­tional head­lines: When Matthew Shep­ard was beaten and hung on a fence in Wy­oming, Frank Rich wrote in The New York Times that it was merely the latest stage in a “war” against ho­mo­sex­u­als loosed by the forces of in­tol­er­ance; the Shep­ard mur­der was dra­ma­tized in plays and movies and in­nu­mer­able songs by Melissa Etheridge, El­ton John, Peter, Paul and Mary, etc.

The fact that this vile cru­ci­fix­ion was a grisly one-off and that Amer­i­can gays have never been less at risk from get­ting bashed did not de­ter pun­dits and politi­cians and lobby groups ga­lore from ar­gu­ing that this freak case demon­strated the need for spe­cial leg­is­la­tion.

By con­trast, there have been a suc­ces­sion of prom­i­nent sto­ries with one com­mon fea­ture that the very same pun­dits, politi­cians and lobby groups have a curious re­luc­tance to go any­where near. In a re­port head­lined “Sor­row And Anger As Ne­wark Buries Slain Youth,” the limpidly taste­ful New York Times prose pri­or­i­tized “sor­row” over “anger,” and of­fered only the fol­low­ing ref­er­ence to the per­pe­tra­tors: “The au­thor­i­ties have said rob­bery ap­peared to be the mo­tive. Three sus­pects — two 15-year-olds and a 28-yearold con­struc­tion worker from Peru — have been ar­rested.” So this Peru­vian guy was here on a Green Card? Or did he ap­ply for a tem­po­rary con­struc­tion-work visa from the U.S. Em­bassy in Lima?

Not ex­actly. Jose Car­ranza is an “un­doc­u­mented” im­mi­grant. His crim­i­nal ca­reer did not be­gin with the triple mur­der he is ac­cused of, nor with the bar­room as­sault from ear­lier this year, nor with the 31 counts of ag­gra­vated sex­ual as­sault re­lat­ing to the rape of a 5-year old child, for which Car­ranza had been re­leased on bail. (His $50,000 bail on the as­sault charge, and $150,000 bail on the child-rape charges have been re­voked — or at least un­til New Jer­sey au­thor­i­ties de­cide to re­lease him for the mass-mur­der charges on $250,000 bail.) No, Car­ranza’s crim­i­nal ca­reer in the U.S. be­gan when he de­cided to live in this coun­try un­law­fully.

Jose Car­ranza isn’t ex­actly a mem­ber of an exclusive club. Vi­o­lent crime com­mit­ted by fine up­stand­ing mem­bers of the Un­doc­u­mented-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity is now a rou­tine fea­ture of Amer­i­can life. But who cares? In 2002, as the “Wash­ing­ton Sniper” piled up his body count, “ex­perts” lined up to tell the me­dia he was most likely an “an­gry white male,” a “ma­cho hunter” or an “icy loner.” When the icy loner turned out to be a black Mus­lim called Muham­mad plus an il­le­gal im­mi­grant from Ja­maica, the only an­gry white males around were the lads in Amer­ica’s news­rooms who were no­tice­ably re­luc­tant to aban­don their the­sis: Early edi­tions of the New York Times spec­u­lated Muham­mad and Malvo were be­ing sought for “pos­si­ble ties to ‘skin­head mili­tia’ groups,” which seemed a some­what im­prob­a­ble al­liance given the size of Muham­mad’s hair in the only avail­able mugshot.

As for his il­le­gal side­kick, John Lee Malvo was de­tained and re­leased by the Im­mi­gra­tion and Nat­u­ral­iza­tion Ser­vice in breach of their own pro­ce­dures.

Amer­ica has a high mur­der rate: Mur­der is def­i­nitely one of the jobs Amer­i­cans can do. But that ties young Malvo to Jose Car­ranza: He’s just an­other killer let loose in this coun­try to kill Amer­i­cans by the bu­reau­cracy’s bound­less sen­si­tiv­ity to­ward the “un­doc­u­mented.”

Will the Ne­wark mur­ders change any­thing? Will there be an Ioe­femi Hightower Act of Congress like the Matthew Shep­ard Act passed by the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives? No.

Three thou­sand peo­ple died on Septem­ber 11, 2001, in a mass mur­der fa­cil­i­tated by the il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion sup­port struc­tures in this coun­try, and, if that didn’t rouse Amer­i­cans to ac­tion, an­other trio of vic­tims seems un­likely to tip the scales. As Michelle Malkin doc­u­mented in her book “In­va­sion,” four of the killers boarded the plane with photo ID ob­tained through the “un­doc­u­mented worker” net­work at the 7Eleven in Falls Church, Va. That’s to say, of­fi­cial­dom”s tol­er­ance of the il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion shad­ow­state en­abled Septem­ber 11.

And what did we do? Not only did we not shut it down, we en- shrined the shadow-state’s cha­rade as part of the new tough post­slaugh­ter se­cu­rity pro­ce­dures. Go take a flight from Ne­wark Air­port. The Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion guy will ask for your driver’s li­cense, glance at the name and pic­ture, and hand it back to you.

Feel safer? The ter­ror­ists could pass that test, and on Tues­day morn­ing they did: 19 for­eign “vis­i­tors” had, be­tween them, 63 valid U.S. driver’s li­censes. Did gov­ern­ment agen­cies then make it harder to ob­tain law­ful photo ID? No. Since Septem­ber 11, the likes of Mary­land and New Mex­ico have joined those states that as a mat­ter of pub­lic pol­icy is­sue le­gal driver’s li­censes to il­le­gal im­mi­grants. So ev­ery time you stand in line shuf­fling along while the TSA guy ex­am­ines driver’s li­cense af­ter driver’s li­cense you have the priv­i­lege of know­ing you’re par­tic­i­pat­ing in a grand na­tional cha­rade.

Ne­wark is the log­i­cal end point of th­ese poli­cies. It is a failed city: 60 per­cent of its chil­dren are raised in house­holds with­out fa­thers. Into that vac­uum pour all kinds of al­ter­na­tive author­ity struc­tures: Car­ranza is al­leged to have com­mit­ted his crime with var­i­ous teenage mem­bers of MS13, a gang with ori­gins in El Sal­vador’s civil war of the 1980s that now op­er­ates in some 30 states. In its tough­est re­doubts, im­mi­grants don’t as­sim­i­late with Amer­ica, Amer­ica as­sim­i­lates to the im­mi­grants, and a Fair­fax, Va., teenager finds him­self get­ting hacked at by ma­chete wielders.

One could, I sup­pose, re­gard this as one of those un­fore­seen in­cre­men­tal con­se­quences that hap­pens in the dark­est shad­ows of so­ci­ety. But that doesn”t ex­tend to Ne­wark’s of­fi­cial sta­tus as an il­le­gal-im­mi­grant “sanc­tu­ary city.” Like Los An­ge­les, New York and un­told oth­ers, Ne­wark has for­mally erased the dis­tinc­tion be­tween U.S. cit­i­zens and the armies of the un­doc­u­mented. This is the ac­tive col­lu­sion by mul­ti­ple cities and states in the sub­ver­sion of U.S. sovereignty. In Ne­wark, N.J., it means an il­le­gal-im­mi­grant child rapist is free to mur­der on a Satur­day night. In Somerville, Mass., it means two deaf girls are raped by MS-13 mem­bers. And in Falls Church, Va., it means Saudi Wah­habists fig­ur­ing out that, if the “sanc­tu­ary na­tion” (in Michelle Malkin’s phrases) of­fers such rich pick­ings to im­ported killers and im­ported gangs, why not to ji­hadists?

“Tell Me Why They Had To Die”? Hard to an­swer. But tell me why, no mat­ter how many Jose Car­ran­zas it spawns, the na­tion­wide un­doc­u­mented-im­mi­gra­tion pro­tec­tion pro­gram erected by this coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal class re­mains un­touch­able and ever-ex­pand­ing.

Mark Steyn is the se­nior con­tribut­ing ed­i­tor for Hollinger Inc. Publi­ca­tions, se­nior North Amer­i­can colum­nist for Bri­tain’s Tele­graph Group, North Amer­i­can ed­i­tor for the Spec­ta­tor, and a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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