Grieving mother says immigration status is not “irrelevant”

Juan Felix Salinas via Houston Chronicle 

Juan Felix Salinas

H/T to Michelle Malkin

Someone alert Geraldo Rivera!  Come to think of it, you probably won’t see him reporting on this story, since it doesn’t likely fit his agenda.

Felinda Williams, a mother who lost her daughter, son-in-law and two year old grandson to a criminal alien who was driving drunk is convinced they would be alive today, if our immigration system worked.  Via the Houston Chronicle.

Tenisha and S.J. Williams and their son Xavier

Felinda Williams couldn’t make herself go to court on a recent morning, couldn’t bring herself to look at the man accused of driving drunk and killing her daughter, her son-in-law and her 2-year-old grandson.

She knows few details of the Aug. 11 crash in Houston that killed the newlyweds and the little boy nicknamed “Peanut Butter.” She does know that her daughter didn’t die on impact. The young woman, according to reports, felt the flames and begged helpless bystanders to pull her free.

The grieving woman knows two things about Juan Felix Salinas, the man charged in connection with their deaths: She knows his name, and she knows he was in the U.S. illegally, out on bail after an earlier arrest.

“He’s been through the courts and the jail before, and nobody caught it,” Williams said. “If they’d caught it, he would have been in jail or deported, and then he wouldn’t have been out there on the streets, and my babies would still be alive.”

Is Juan Felix Salinas an isolated case?  Not by any stretch of the imagination.

In the past year, Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Houston Police Department officials said they have increased their cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. But despite recent efforts, not all illegal immigrants who come into contact with law enforcement in Houston are referred to immigration authorities, which has frustrated some victims’ advocates and proponents of stricter immigration controls.

Salinas, 41, was arrested in Jacinto City after allegedly shaking his wife violently on March 31. He escaped the attention of immigration officials by posting a “non-arrest” bond at the Harris County Jail, which some victim advocates have called a loophole for illegal immigrants.

As Michelle says, “Repeat after me: Sovereign Nation or Sanctuary Nation–It’s your choice.

Officials with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office ask each inmate during the intake process about nationality and citizenship, said Sgt. D.M. Mackey.

More than 4,606 inmates admitted to being illegal immigrants and had their cases referred to ICE from August 2006 through August 2007, Mackey said. In the previous 18 months, the sheriff’s office had identified 1,940 illegal immigrants in the jail.

Andy Kahan, director of the Mayor’s Crime Victim’s Office, questioned why local authorities don’t refer all cases involving suspected illegal immigrants to ICE.“We can’t expect ICE and federal officials to act if we don’t give them all of the information to act on,” he said. “If we don’t give them the tools to make a decision, we reap what we sow.”

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