An illegal immigrant from Guatemala convicted for her role in a deadly 2008 vehicle crash has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, in the latest example of why Congress must start taking action to secure the border once and for all.
Olga Marina Franco del Cid ran a stop sign and plowed into a school bus in Cottonwood, Minnesota in 2008, killing four children and injuring 14 others. She was charged on 24 counts, including four counts vehicular homicide and served eight years in jail before being deported in 2016.
However, del Cid managed to return to the U.S. some time between the time of her deportation and her recent arrest in Washington County, Minnesota. She was discovered to be living in Inver Grove Heights, just three hours away from where the accident involving the school bus took place.
Del Cid now faces the possibility of 10 to 20 more years in prison for re-entering the U.S. following deportation.
“Very serious crime”
“This individual has committed a very serious crime in this state,” ICE official Shawn Neudauer told local affiliate station FOX 9. “Beyond serving her sentence, there is a penalty for coming back after you’ve been told you have to leave,” he added.
Statistics from the federal agencies charged with prosecuting those who re-enter the U.S. after being deported indicate that these matters now account for one-third of their caseload, up from only 5% a recently as a few years ago.
According to data from the United States Sentencing Commission, offenders in this category typically spend approximately 18 months in jail before being deported again.
It costs, on average, more than $10,000 to deport someone, and many of those sent back to their countries of origin simply turn around and come right back. This high rate of re-entry is yet another reason why Congress must start taking concrete steps to address the crisis situation at the border.
Border situation remains critical
The bottom line on immigration is that Congress needs to work collaboratively with President Trump to build a wall and secure what remains an alarmingly porous southern border.
While immigration numbers have decreased in the wake of recent agreements the U.S. has made with Latin American countries to house asylum-seekers, thousands still stream across the border every month in areas where an effective barrier is lacking.
Obviously, those coming into the U.S. illegally don’t respect the nation’s laws and sovereignty. If they did, they would come here legally or not at all.
This willingness to disregard U.S. immigration law all too often translates into other, often very dangerous forms of illegal activity, and decisive action to curb the avoidable victimization of American citizens is long overdue.