When we first learned of the story of Volodymyr Zhukovskyy having killed seven motorcycle riders in New Hampshire, I found the story to be an obvious tragedy, but also likely little more than a tragic accident. Sadly, such things do happen out on our highways from time to time. But the more we learn, the stranger the tale has become.
First of all, Zhukovskyy has a history that is more than a bit checkered. In the fairly recent past, he’s run into trouble for drug possession and drunk driving. He also didn’t have the correct commercial driver’s license to be holding the truck driving job he had. Further, the company he worked for had a spotty record (at best) in terms of vehicle inspections and compliance. With all that in mind, should someone have pulled him off his driving assignment before the accident took place? Would that have prevented this tragedy? Perhaps.
But now there’s another wrinkle in the story. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is after the guy and they have a detainer to grab him and send him back to Ukraine if they get their hands on him. (CBS Boston)
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, the man accused of hitting and killing seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire last week, is now under an immigration detainer.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued the detainer on Monday after Zhukovskyy was booked into the Coos County House of Correction on seven counts of negligent homicide.
With Zhukovskyy under detainer, he would be deported back to the Ukraine if he is released from police custody.
There seems to be some confusion over Zhukovskyy’s status in some of the articles I’ve read. Technically, he’s in the country legally and allowed to work here. But as Howie Carr recently noted in the Boston Herald, this condition is the result of a series of mistakes on our part. When an immigrant is in the United States on a work visa, tourist visa, student visa or what have you, they are expected to be on their best behavior if they would like to stay. When they begin breaking the law, it’s time for their legal resident status to be canceled and for them to go home.
Zhukovskyy had already broken the law multiple times, and we’re not just talking about failures to register his vehicle or get the proper license. He was in trouble for larceny, cocaine, heroin and driving while intoxicated. He’d already received far more passes than he could reasonably expect. And this, as Carr notes, is a case of, “defining deviancy down, this policy of looking the other way when it comes to bad behavior until what used to be unacceptable is normalized.”
As I noted at the top, if someone had suspended Zhukovskyy’s license or investigated the trucking company he worked for, that may or may not have prevented the tragedy we witnessed. But do you know what definitely would have ensured he didn’t plow into all those bikers? Sending him back to his home country before he had the chance to do it.