My commentary today is predicated on a news release that was posted by the Chicago, Illinois office of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on March 7, 2012.
The news release reported on the success in prosecuting an illegal
alien who is a citizen of Belize, for the federal crime of re-entering
the United States after he had been deported as an aggravated felon. In
point of fact, this criminal alien, Moses Anthony Francisco, had been
previously deported four times and had committed a number of serious
crimes including two separate crimes which resulted in the death of his
Let’s start out with a personal note; this case provides me with a
bit of vindication because back in the early 1980?s when as an INS
Special Agent, I was frustrated by the difficulty my colleagues and I
had experienced in presenting cases for prosecution to the offices of
the United States Attorney for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New
York, especially when the crime we presented involved aliens who had
been deported and then re-entered the United States without the
requisite authority of the Attorney General. I made the decision to
reach out to New York’s Senior Senator, Alphonse D’Amato and explained
that there were a number of issues I believed needed to be addressed.
Senator D’Amato had earned the nickname, “Senator Pothole” because he
had a reputation for actually listening to his constituents and going to
bat when he thought it was justified.
I had a number of meetings with Senator D’Amato and he asked that I
provide him with substantiation to support my recommendations. Over a
six month period, I convinced approximately 30 of my colleagues at the
former INS to come forward, without the knowledge of our superiors.
Here were the proposals:
- The INS should stop simply counting every arrested illegal alien as
being of equal importance- criminal aliens needed to become the
- Deportation hearings should be conducted inside prisons. Previously
an alien who was serving many years behind bars subsequent to being
convicted for a serious crime would not see an immigration judge until
after he completed his sentence. Often this meant that such an alien
would be permitted to post a bond and spend years out on the street
while his deportation case was being resolved. Often this provided
criminal aliens with the opportunity to commit more crimes and/or
abscond. The point to hearings conducted inside the prison was to have
an alien rendered deportable before his prison sentence was completed.
He could be simply put on an airplane the day he was released from
prison. This became the “Institutional Hearing Program.”
- The penalty for illegal re-entry carried a maximum of a two year
prison sentence. This would be an appropriate sentence for an illegal
alien who had no criminal history but an alien who had a serious
criminal history should face a far more significant punishment. I had
recommended that the maximum sentence be 20 years in prison. This was
important for two reasons- to help convince the U.S. Attorney’s office
to accept the prosecution of criminal aliens and to create a far greater
deterrence to discourage criminal aliens from returning to the United
Senator D’Amato agreed with all three proposals and helped bring them
to fruition including the creation of the enhanced penalties provision
in conjunction with the immigration law that addresses illegal re-entry by aliens who are convicted felons!
In fact, in part because of the greater acceptance rate of
prosecutions for unlawful re-entry of criminal aliens, in many districts
across the United States, immigration prosecution represents the
greatest number of criminal prosecutions!
I mention these issues to make it clear that if our leaders are
willing to address the challenges that illegal immigration creates- that
those challenges can be met and successfully dealt with! The solution
to our nation’s illegal crisis that involves an illegal alien population
that is likely two or three times greater than the estimate often cited
by the administration of 11 million is not to promise more incentives
to illegal aliens and aspiring illegal aliens, but to ramp up
enforcement and convince people throughout the world that our
immigration laws will be effectively enforced. This is not a novel
approach- think of how many times you have seen signs on businesses and
private homes that advertise that they have burglar alarms or at the
least an attack dog defending the premises!
Could you imagine a homeowner posting a sign on his home that noted
that there were valuables to be found inside, and that the owner of that
location being surprised when burglars broke in? Could you imagine
what the conversation among the police and the insurance adjuster with
the homeowner would be like when they were called to the crime scene?
Now let’s look at this case in particular. I am pleasantly surprised
that the news release accurately and unambiguously identified Moses
Anthony Francisco as an illegal alien from Belize. (All too often ICE
news releases fail to address the immigration status of aliens or even
make note of the fact that an alien is indeed an alien!)
We are often told that our immigration system is broken- what is
broken is that our federal government is failing to provide the
resources and support, both material support and moral support to the
beleaguered enforcement personnel of ICE and CBP (Customs and Border
Protection) to make certain that the job gets done and that illegal
aliens are deterred from entering our country. There is no deterrence
to be found when the President and other so-called “leaders” in our
government repeatedly promise that they will do everything possible to
put many millions of illegal aliens, whose true identities and
backgrounds are unknown and unknowable, on a “pathway to United States
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has often assured us
that there is no “spillover” violence from Mexico. While there was no
mention as to how Mr. Francisco repeatedly entered the United States
after being deported, it is entirely possible that he managed to run our
nation’s southwest border on at least one of his illegal entries into
the United States. The news release indicated that his most recent
illegal re-entry took place in May of 2010. This illegal re-entry
happened on Ms. Napolitano’s watch.
While he had been found guilty of taking the lives of two victims in
California, he was apprehended most recently in Chicago where he was
involved with the violent Crips Gang. The point is that the immigration
crisis is not simply important for the citizens of our nation who
reside in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas- but is truly a
crisis for every citizen living in every state of this nation!
Finally, it would be significant to know how he managed to apparently
evade the inspections process on four occasions and know what, if
anything, ICE is doing to address the obvious vulnerabilities in the
system that enabled this one man crime wave to easily traverse our
nation’s borders. Think of how many people have likely been injured by
Mr. Francisco in addition to the two he killed. Consider this excerpt
from the news release:
According to court documents, Francisco is a six-time
convicted felon with a criminal history that includes the following
convictions: involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, robbery,
attempted robbery, brandishing a weapon, and illegal re-entry. In 1985
Francisco was convicted in California of involuntary manslaughter after
stabbing his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend in the chest and killing him. His
conviction for vehicular manslaughter occurred in California in 1989.
While driving a stolen car, Francisco caused a crash that killed a
passenger in another car during his escape attempt after he robbed a
victim at knife-point.
Francisco is also a self-admitted member of the East Side 43
Gangster Crips in Los Angeles and has tattoos documenting his
membership. According to court documents, Francisco admitted he is a
ranking gang member, and was a “shot caller” for the gang while he was
incarcerated in the California Department of Corrections and the U.S.
Bureau of Prisons. As an admitted member of the Crips “executive
committee,” he had input regarding whether acts of violence were
approved and committed by fellow Crips inmates.
It would appear that the passenger he killed in 1989 would still be
alive if Francisco had not been able to unlawfully re-enter the United
States after he had been convicted of stabbing his girlfriend’s
Our nation’s immigration laws are intended to accomplish two major
goals, save American lives and save American jobs. Certainly other
important benefits would accrue through securing our nation’s borders
and effectively enforcing our immigration laws.
With those goals in mind, any candidate for elected office,
especially the Presidency, must come to accept just how vital the
immigration laws are to the safety and security of our nation and our
citizens and be willing to do what is necessary to insure that those
laws will be effectively enforced.