January 24, 2008

Human Smugglers Busted For 7th Time In Colorado; Gov't Officials Finally Doing Their Job

"Before we would call ICE, which was shorthanded or didn't have the space, and we would have to let them go on their way"--Shannon Cordingly, spokeswoman for Eagle County Sheriff's Office

The high-profile arrests comes a month after law enforcement agencies on the Western Slope, in partnership with ICE and 5th Judicial District, enacted a policy to enforce and prosecute state and federal immigration laws within their respective agencies.

Having been arrested and deported not once, not twice, but six times, this pair of human traffickers came up short when they were caught for the seventh time:
Eagle County sheriff deputies arrested two men for attempting to transport 13 illegal immigrants into Colorado this week.

Carlos Ortiz-Lazcano, 29, and Saul Hernandez-Lopez, 27 were arrested and charged with human smuggling and reckless endangerment. The pair already had been arrested and deported six times for smuggling people into the United States

Lopez was also charged with criminal impersonation, driving a vehicle without a valid driver's license and insurance.

Both men are being held at the Eagle County Detention Facility on a $100,000 bond.

"Our deputies spent 20 hours working on this incident. It's the first time in Eagle County we've been able to hold and charge the suspects for human smuggling," said Shannon Cordingly, spokeswoman for Eagle County Sheriff's Office.
What took them so long to bust smugglers like these guys?

Bureaucracy:
"Before we would call ICE, which was shorthanded or didn't have the space, and we would have to let them go on their way."

Twelve of the 13 people found in the blue Chevrolet Venture minivan are being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement pending deportation to Mexico. The other person, a juvenile boy, was deported and exported back to Mexico.

The high-profile arrests comes a month after law enforcement agencies on the Western Slope, in partnership with ICE and 5th Judicial District, enacted a policy to enforce and prosecute state and federal immigration laws within their respective agencies.
"Enacted a policy to enforce and prosecute state and federal immigration laws within their respective agencies."

Translation: doing the job they are supposed to do--by law.

The results:
ICE has ramped up operations in Colorado and Wyoming, capturing more than 438 fugitive immigrants in the region in fiscal year 2007.

Nationwide, more than 30,400 fugitive immigrants were apprehended last year, nearly double the number of arrests in 2006, according to the government's data.

The first group of Colorado troopers trained to look out for illegal immigrant smugglers, particularly along Interstate 70, hit the ground in July, leading to more arrests of coyotes and deportations of undocumented immigrants.

"We're so happy were able to start doing something about this problem," said Cordingly. "I-70 is a major corridor for human smuggling activity."
Nice to see government officials actually doing the job they get paid to do by taxpayers.

Enforcement works. But this is too little, too late

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