Deport the Criminals First: The First Ten Installments

[“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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Jazz Shaw 8:01 PM on December 06, 2022