Deport the Criminals First: The First Ten Installments

posted at 1:20 pm on July 12, 2007 by Patterico

[“Deport the Criminals First” is a recurring feature on this blog, highlighting crimes committed by illegal immigrants — with a special focus on repeat offenders. I argue that, instead of arresting illegal immigrants who work hard for a living, we should use our limited immigration enforcement resources to target illegal immigrants who commit crimes in this country — especially violent crimes.]

When I posted my first installment of “Deport the Criminals First” on Hot Air, I had already done 10 previous such posts on my own blog. A commenter suggested that I put together a post summarizing those first ten installments, and I thought it sounded like a good idea.

First, let me start by quoting from my first such post, to explain what motivates me to write on this topic.

I have repeatedly argued that our federal government should devote all its ICE agents (at least those not working on border enforcement) to the task of identifying and deporting those illegal aliens who commit crimes while in this country. In my view, it is outrageous that we would use a single ICE agent to arrest someone working hard for a living, while countless thousands of illegals sit in county jails and state prisons — their illegal immigrant status unknown, waiting to be released onto the streets once their sentences are completed.

This seems like an utter no-brainer to me — but no matter how much I talk about it, the policy isn’t getting implemented. I recently read a Steve Lopez column [an L.A. Times columnist] in which a pro-illegal immigration activist argued that (as Lopez put it) “the tone of the debate has been and will continue to be changed by humanizing it.” I promised to try to “humanize” the problem of crime committed by illegal immigrant criminals, by seeking out and reporting stories of crimes that would have been prevented by pursuing my “deport the criminals first” policy.

And that is what I have tried to do, first on my own blog, and now here at Hot Air: show readers the stark reality of what happens when our government lets illegal alien criminals slip through the cracks. Here are ten such examples. Follow the links for more detail.

  • Deputy Frank Fabiano was gunned down by an illegal immigrant with previous arrests for illegal gun possession, lewd and lascivious conduct, DUI, domestic battery, disorderly conduct, and bail jumping. Immigration officials had never heard of him. His story — the first “Deport the Criminals First” story I ever told — has apparently inspired federal legislation to step up immigration checks at jails and prisons. But such legislation came too late for Frank Fabiano.


  • Jenny Garcia was stabbed to death by an illegal immigrant who had been arrested previously for child molestation. He was not deported after that earlier arrest, because the city of Austin had a “sanctuary policy” that prohibited his arresting officers from determining his immigration status. This “sanctuary policy” resulted in Jenny Garcia’s death.


  • Nicolas Serrano-Villagrana is an illegal alien who had previous convictions for drunk driving when he killed a four-year-old boy in Las Vegas. He had a blood-alcohol content of 0.20 percent — and cocaine in his system — when he plowed into a bus stop, killing little Angel Avendano.

    I don’t have a picture of Angel Avendano. But if I did, I don’t know if I could post it. My son is four years old. The idea of an innocent little boy just like him being killed by some drunk driver who should have been deported long ago — well, it’s just as well I don’t have a picture of him.

  • Luciano Melendres hit and killed 32-year-old Danny Sims in east Charlotte, North Carolina. He had been convicted of DWI just one week earlier.

    In Charlotte, sheriffs now question suspected illegal immigrants in jail concerning their immigration status. They have found 1600 illegals in 10 months. But they started the program two months too late to save Danny Sims.

  • Also in Charlotte, a man named Raymundo Pineda drove drunk in 2005 and hit Jasmine Lawrence, killing her. He didn’t bother to stop and help. He had been arrested for DWI a year earlier, but apparently was never deported. If he had been, Jasmine Lawrence would probably still be with us.
  • Guillermo Paniagua was an illegal alien with four previous DWI convictions — count ’em, four. He drove drunk and slammed head-on into a car, killing Ernie Mendoza, the chief of police of a local school district. Chief Mendoza left behind a wife and four children. Those kids don’t have a dad now — all because our incompetent government failed to deport an illegal alien who was a clear menace on the road and should long since have been deported. Here is a picture of Chief Mendoza:


  • Illegal re-entry after deportation is a crime. Our government has a responsibility to prosecute deported aliens who re-enter the country, and send them to prison. But as I reported in this post, ICE routinely and deliberately refuses to submit such cases for prosecution. The failure to prosecute Ricardo Contreras for illegal re-entry meant that he was free to drive drunk — and to kill George Smith. Here is a picture of George Smith, who should still be walking around, enjoying life with his family — but who, instead, is a victim of our government’s inexcusable failure to prosecute illegal re-entry cases.


  • Rebecca Griego was stalked and murdered by Jonathan Rowan, an illegal immigrant from Britain. Months before he shot her, he was stopped for drunken driving — but Seattle’s “sanctuary city” policy prevented officers from determining his illegal status. Rebecca Griego paid for this sanctuary policy with her life.


  • Deporting criminals won’t do any good if we can’t keep them out of the country. Rafael Ramirez Perez picked up three DUIs — and for once, immigration officials did their job and deported him. Except that they didn’t do such a good job of keeping him out. He returned, and — surprise, surprise! — drove drunk again. This time, he killed a young woman named Amy Kortlang.


  • The principle that deportation is pointless without border enforcement was tragically illustrated by the death of another law enforcement official named Rodney Johnson. Juan Leonardo Quintero killed Officer Johnson. Quintero had been deported after a lengthy record of arrests for charges like indecency with a child, driving while intoxicated, and more. But deportation didn’t keep him out — and our porous border resulted in the death of Officer Johnson.


Let’s not forget the two installments of “Deport the Criminals First” that I have posted here at Hot Air.

  • Ignacio Gomez-Gutierrez had a blood-alcohol content of three times the legal limit when he rear-ended a car near Kingwood, Texas, killing Maria Ortiz, her daughter Vanessa, and Vanessa’s unborn baby boy Nathaniel.

    Remember how the victims’ car looked after the collision?


  • Just yesterday, I posted the tragic tale of Schanna Gayden — an innocent bystander killed in a gang-related shooting. The shooting was allegedly ordered by Mwenda Murithi, a Kenyan immigrant who had illegally overstayed his student visa, rejecting the life of a student for the life of a gangster. Murithi’s victim looks heartbreakingly innocent in this photo:


She was only 13 years old.

I’m just scratching the surface with these stories, folks. I have a backlog of similar stories, but I don’t have the energy to post them all. And every time I post a story, readers send me more. And more. And more.

Don’t just get mad. Do something about it. Contact your representatives in Congress and demand that ICE take steps to check the immigration status of every inmate in the country.

We can’t bring back the people discussed and pictured above — but we can try to keep similar tragedies from happening again.

[Patterico blogs at and can be reached at patterico -AT- gmail -DOT- com.]

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Absolutely heartbreaking. Our government has the blood of its own citizens on its hands.

infidel4life on July 12, 2007 at 1:34 PM

I remember reading that the number of people killed by illegal aliens in the U.S. since March 2003 is over 8,000. I assume that this would include both deliberate and accidental deaths. If this figure is correct, it’s over twice the number of American troops dead in Iraq. If our losses in Iraq are enough to justify withdrawal, as some have urged, surely our losses, right here at home justify securing the border and apprehending all illegals who commit crimes after entry.

Bigfoot on July 12, 2007 at 1:40 PM

Doesn’t the First Amendment ensure the rights of the citizens to sue the government? (…petition for the redress…) If I were the family of these people, I’d lawyer up.

_Jon on July 12, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Keep it coming.

I am having trouble staying focused do not want to focus on other social and political issues as long as we ignore this gaping hole in our national security.

Please say a prayer for all victims of violent crime.

The Race Card on July 12, 2007 at 1:46 PM

Agreed. This is a good strategy. Also, sanctuary cities should be denied any federal and state dollars.

Kini on July 12, 2007 at 1:47 PM


My heart goes out to these families.

On-my-soap-box on July 12, 2007 at 1:50 PM

The barbarians are inside the gates. They just haven’t made it to the palace yet.

PRCalDude on July 12, 2007 at 1:51 PM

It’s almost funny.

While not necessarily a big fan of O’Reilly’s, he’s been pretty good on child predator stuff and places that don’t really punish them much. He basically advertises where they should and shouldn’t go to commit their crimes.

So what is going to happen is that the sanctuary cities for them and for illegal aliens are going to see crime skyrocket because of their “progressive” stance.

See? That’s almost funny.

Veeshir on July 12, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Deport the Criminals First.

Deport the serf master (aka latter day slavers) of illegal aliens second.

Deport Jorge Arbusto third.

Actually I am not so sure about the proper order.

MB4 on July 12, 2007 at 1:57 PM


I will personally contribute towards a fund which will finance the building of a G*damned gallows behind each and every court house in the country and so the SOBs can hang on the spot!!!!!!!!!!!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on July 12, 2007 at 2:03 PM

As a mother of an 8 and 6 year old, this makes me so damn sick. These bastards that let these criminals go, over and over and over again should be punished, to the highest extent of the law for the crimes these illegals commit after being let go.

heatherrc77 on July 12, 2007 at 2:03 PM

Patterico is one of my absolute first reads every single day! I’m glad he’s here posting. We were able to get the politicians’ minds focused on us for a few minutes during the immigration bill debate. We need not to let up. We need each politician and his staffer to acknowledge these illigal alien victims first in writing and speaking before we fall for their “talk” again. Then they need to lay out for us, voters, what exactly they will do, exactly with tiny speficity!! No vague Hillaryisms or Obamaisms. Tell it to us STRAIGHT!!! If we focus on making them speak to us maybe someone will begin to pay attention. Anyway, that’s what I’m attempting to do, how about you?

sharinlite on July 12, 2007 at 2:03 PM

Patterico, you say you have a huge archive of these, and readers send you more and more. How about posting a list of the countries that these killers come from? The purpose being to illustrate that the problem is NOT just Mexicans, who received the bulk of the country’s ire during the shamnesty rebellion. Another useful piece of information would be how the killers got into the country, ie, border infiltration vs. overstaying one of the visa categories.

RushBaby on July 12, 2007 at 2:06 PM


I will personally contribute towards a fund which will finance the building of a G*damned gallows behind each and every court house in the country and so the SOBs can hang on the spot!!!!!!!!!!!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on July 12, 2007 at 2:03 PM

And the ACLU would make sure you were the first to hang.

On-my-soap-box on July 12, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Maybe a few ACLU attorneys would consent to testing the trap door? You know! Just to be sure the things function…humanely!!!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on July 12, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Great job Patterico. Keep these posts and stories coming.

BadgerHawk on July 12, 2007 at 2:19 PM

Has anyone caught up with Geraldo to get his opinion? ‘Cause I’m sure the fact that these murderers were here ILLEGALLY has nothing to to with it. It was the Cheh-vy and likker’s fault, mang, not the illegal’s!

All future Federal and state prisons, military bases and bombing ranges will now be built along our Southern border. If it moves, it’s spot-lighted. If it doesn’t ‘alto’ when told, it’s pick-ed up, tossed into general pop, and the problem’s solved.

Oh yeah, one more thing: only the white supremisists, crips, and bloods will be held in these prisons. I don’t care what country the illegal’s from…he/she won’t make it a day in general pop without a ‘friend’ in there.

Biffstir on July 12, 2007 at 2:21 PM

You can’t tell me that if they had congressional hearings on these stories and pictures of lost Americans were put out for the world to see, Congress would surely take some kind of action to secure the borders. I wish we
could hold Congress at fault and put their feet to the fire, especially the shamnesty crowd that wanted these criminals to stay here. Truly, Congress has blood on its hands.

Vanquisher on July 12, 2007 at 2:24 PM

Not that I want this to happen, I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer the death of a child, but perhaps the violent death of a politician’s child at the hands of an illegal who was passed through the system over and over again will be what it takes to get the damn laws enforced.

Pulchritudinous Patriot on July 12, 2007 at 2:45 PM

This is gripping. Is there any way to get the only thing close to a conservative outlet (FoxNews) to pick up these stories? Dealing with these people may convince conservatives, such as myself, to be more inclined to support some sort amnesty for those who are “good hard working people”.

Harpoon on July 12, 2007 at 2:56 PM

Not that I want this to happen, I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer the death of a child, but perhaps the violent death of a politician’s child at the hands of an illegal who was passed through the system over and over again will be what it takes to get the damn laws enforced.

Pulchritudinous Patriot on July 12, 2007 at 2:45 PM

It’s going to take an incident of this magnitude, maybe a beloved celebrity, to be the tipping point, I’m afraid. Our politicians are reactive rather than proactive (at least when it comes to looking out for the interests of the American people).

RushBaby on July 12, 2007 at 3:05 PM

How ’bout you petition your ‘sanctuary’ city, if you live in one.

Anchorage, Alaska^
Fairbanks, Alaska^
Chandler, Arizona
Fresno, California
Los Angeles, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Sonoma County, California
Washington D.C.
Evanston, Illinois
Cicero, Illinois
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Orleans, Massachusetts
Portland, Maine
Baltimore, Maryland
Takoma Park, Maryland
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan (debated on 05/04/2007)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hightstown, New Jersey
Bridgeton, New Jersey
Trenton, New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey
Durham, North Carolina
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Aztec, New Mexico
Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
Sante Fe, New Mexico
New York, New York
Ashland, Oregon*
Gaston, Oregon*
Marion County, Oregon*
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas
Katy, Texas
Seattle, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin

^state law PROHIBITS state to assist Federal agencies
*state law PROHIBITS state to assist Federal agencies EXCEPT in criminal arrests

California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina account for about half the undocumented population.

When you have 15,000 ICE agents throughout the WORLD, state and local authorities HAVE to stop violating Federal laws.

Miss_Anthrope on July 12, 2007 at 3:36 PM

Deport the criminals? You can’t do that!!!!

It is not PC to do so!

Someone’s feelings might get hurt!

Someone might not get re-elected!

Someone has to commit the crimes that Americans won’t do!

This would cause a breaking up between criminals and potential victims!

The solution to this problem is to increase the rights of illegal aliens who are bent on criminal activity so that they will not feel threatened and that they feel that they are being treated freely. After all, if they do not feel threatened, then they won’t threaten us. If they feel that they are being treated fairly, then they will be fair to us. Right, Nancy? Right Harry?, Right Teddy? And sadly…Right JORGE?

God and Michelle…help us!!!!

The False Dervish on July 12, 2007 at 3:37 PM

Whoops! I made a typo….

The solution to this problem is to increase the rights of illegal aliens who are bent on criminal activity so that they will not feel threatened and that they feel that they are being treated freely fairly.


The False Dervish on July 12, 2007 at 3:40 PM

Congress is only part of the problem, the administration
(Pres. and staff) are even more responsible. President Bush
appoints Homeland Security chief and Chertoff appointed the ICE princess to be over ICE. Citizens and congress need to put pressure on the administration to get rid of Chertoff and the ICE princess and appoint a REAL manager over ICE.

2theright on July 12, 2007 at 3:45 PM

In my view, it is outrageous that we would use a single ICE agent to arrest someone working hard for a living,

Yes, we should continue to allow Americans to be driven out of their communities, their wages to be suppressed, their hospitals & schools to be overrun & their sovereignty to be a joke….thanks alot.

When you’re done making my country the worlds welfare office, how about raising my taxes to pay for their 3rd world ghettos? I deserve it, Im a native born American & so was my father & his father. Im not part of your “Nation of Immigrants”.

DwnSouthJukin on July 12, 2007 at 3:57 PM


I think he is partly correct. The illegal aliens problem is so big it makes sense to prioritize which ones we concentrate on getting rid of first. Once we have the illegals who are killing Americans dealt with, then we can go after the ones who pose less of a threat.

As far as trying to effect change on this problem, I suggest we get all of these stories of innocent Americans killed by caught-and-released illegals and shove them in the faces of everyone running for office-especially but not solely the Presidential candidates and demand they give specific steps they will take to end it.

One more suggestion, BTW: Regardless of whether one is a citizen or an illegal, DUI should be a mandatory 3-strikes crime. Third conviction should be mandatory life in prison with no possibility of parole. Not to punish the drunk drivers, but because they have proven themselves too dangerous and untrustworthy to be allowed to run around free.

Lancer on July 12, 2007 at 4:27 PM

You know what I would like to ask all of the candidates for president who supported the shamnesty bill?

, I am writing my latest letter to the loved ones of , telling them how needlessly their loved one died, somehow trying to comfort them in their time of need.

Please , as I am ready to write with my pen and paper, Can I write down your addition to my letter, your reasons for letting these these illegals stay in our country?

Will you please explain to them how their loved one did not die needlessly, that we need to let everyone into this country, regardless if they commit crimes?

Can you ease their suffering by letting them know you supported a law to allow illegals who have commited crimes to NOT be deported?

Shouldn’t you lessen their pain by telling them that you will work tirelessly to “shut the bigots up”, and ensure no matter what heinous crime these “undocumented Americans” commit, you will fight tooth and nail to ensure they can never be sent out of the country?

Finally, will you give them hope, that more innocent victims will have to suffer injury or death, because we cannot turn our backs on anyone, no matter what they do?

I await your response.

rightside on July 12, 2007 at 5:16 PM

In that second sentence there should be a {candidates name}first, and {victim’s name of illegal alien} after of.

rightside on July 12, 2007 at 5:18 PM

rightside on July 12, 2007 at 5:16 PM

Hang on to this and repost it from time to time, OK? Very poignant.

RushBaby on July 12, 2007 at 5:29 PM

The officials in the so-called “sanctuary cities” ought to be arrested and prosecuted.

georgej on July 12, 2007 at 5:31 PM

Blame the administration if you like. Blame Congress if you like. Hell, blame ICE. Blaming won’t do any of us any good.

Our nation has had problems enforcing immigration policy for at least a generation.

The suggestions to publish these stories to a larger populace are excellent. Write letters to the editors of your local papers, your larger papers (in my case the Star and Sickle in Minneapolis and Pioneer Press in St. Paul), Organize funding for billboards, get the message out.

If you speak louder than the shamnesty crowd you WILL be heard, maybe not listened too, but at least heard.

I think it is time for open season on illegals, maybe I’ll have better luck than with deer.

RedKnight on July 12, 2007 at 5:33 PM

Hang on to this and repost it from time to time, OK? Very poignant.

RushBaby on July 12, 2007 at 5:29 PM

Thanks for your comment. I will repost, I just wish we had an edit function for these comments. I used “” at first, and it mistook them as html tags. Oh well, lol! Next time I’ll know!

rightside on July 12, 2007 at 5:39 PM

The pictures really drive this home, it makes it real and not just a story. Keep it up Patterico.

Oh, I almost forgot. We can’t deport the Brittan, we need to keep our racist credentials (assuming he speaks English, and his actual race doesn’t matter).

Harpoon on July 12, 2007 at 6:34 PM

Don’t expect to get a lot of help in NC. After a police officer (don’t remember if Raleigh, sheriff’s or HP) was sanctioned for arresting “too many” hispanic DUI’s (23% of his DUI arrests vs. 12% of population – even though 24% of DUI accidents involved hispanics), a local “immigrant rights activist” said that Mexicans shouldn’t even be arrested for DUI since driving drunk wasn’t a big deal in Mexico, so we shouldn’t expect them to know any different. (I guess, of course, unless they had read the Driver’s License Handbook – but that would be asking too much)

eeyore on July 12, 2007 at 6:38 PM


I guess, of course, unless they had read the Driver’s License Handbook –

You are assuming too much. They can’t SPEAK English, much less read English.

MrFreeman07 on July 12, 2007 at 8:24 PM

This is disturbing.

4shoes on July 12, 2007 at 10:26 PM

I wonder what it would take for the American people to, according to the provision in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, to usurp the powers of the government and establish a new government.

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Sounds to me like the conditions for that provision are approaching.

Yet, I wonder. I believe, that save for a small rogue group, the vast majority will never rise up against their own government regardless of circumstances.

That being the case, I believe that no matter how corrupt the system gets, no matter how corrupt the politicians, no matter how criminal the effect of their malfeasance, the American people, like all people throughout the world, will not revolt en masse. The few that will, can be put down by the Army. The days where revolutions were possible and enacted by a few brave men are long gone. The government is so powerful and expansive, no small group of men could make a difference at this point. It would take, at least, several hundred thousand well-placed citizens, ready to risk their lives, to act in concert to form a new government. Many of those would have to be in the upper echelons of the military.

Not going to happen. Mexamerica is coming with or without amnesty.

jihadwatcher on July 12, 2007 at 10:47 PM

Killing people Americans don’t want to kill.

Chertoff and Bush (and 49% of Congress) can’t see these faces, somehow.

profitsbeard on July 13, 2007 at 2:41 AM

I was living in Las Vegas when Nicolas Serrano-Villagrana killed that little boy. That POS got out of his truck (with the big Brahma bull sticker on the side) and tried to blend in with the victims family and bystanders. That entire neighborhood is over run with illegals.

csdeven on July 13, 2007 at 7:01 AM

Please don’t forget Denver Detective Donald (“Donnie”) Young, killed while working a uniform OT assignment by known illegal Raul Gomez-Garcia in May 2005. The assailant, previously contacted in Denver (a sanctuary city) for traffic offensesm returned with a gun to the site where Young and his partner had previously turned Gomez-Garcia away for not being able to produce his invitation to the event: an infant’s baptism celebration. Both officers were shot, Young died instantly. Gomez-Garcia had been employed as a dishwasher at a restaurant in which Denver mayor John Hickenlooper had a controlling interest. Fortunately, the illegal was turned in by his grandmother in Mexico and successfully extradited back to the States, but only after an agreement was made not to charge him with Felony Capital Murder. The scumbag’s defense attorneys helped him miss part of his sentencing hearing for fear of riling the court and upsetting the surviving family because he would have appeared in court with the gang symbols he had shaved into his hair while in prison.

Captain Scarlet on July 13, 2007 at 7:53 AM

Thanks Patterico, for your sound thinking on this matter. It would be a very pleasant surprise indeed if our elected officials started thinking rationally about our borders and protecting our citizens, but I sure won’t hold my breath. This column reminded me of the railroad killer, Angel Maturino Resendiz, who traveled freely between Mexico and the US for at least 20 years, despite constantly being arrested for various things. Eventually, he killed 15 – 25 people (depending on who you ask), including a college student here in Lexington. The student’s girlfriend was brutally raped, but survived. She was the only one of his victims who survived, and only because he thought she was dead. She ultimately managed to help identify Resendiz in the end. He was executed almost a year ago in Texas, despite statewide protests in Texas by folks who felt that this POS deserved to continue to draw breath. At least this one ended properly, but had he been deported when he was first arrested as a juvenile, 15 – 25 people would still be alive today.

lan astaslem on July 13, 2007 at 10:14 AM

Last year an Indiana University student was killed in a car crash right near campus by a drunk illegal alien who was going like 65 mph in a 25 zone. Afterwards, he ran to Delaware, I think it was, but was finally caught.

Here’s a quick summary:

David L. on July 13, 2007 at 10:59 PM