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IS HE OR ISN’T HE?

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By thisistwitchy  •  January 26, 2005 05:00 PM

Lots of readers want to know whether Juan Manuel Alvarez, the man being held in connection with the deadly Glendale commuter train derailment, is an illegal alien.

I called the Glendale Police Department, which I’m sure has been swamped, and am waiting for a call back. I also talked to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca’s press person, Steve Whitmore, after Baca made comments on the George Putnam radio talk show about Alavarez’s citizenship status. The answer so far is: They don’t know. I’ll let you know when I hear anything more.

Alvarez reportedly does have a prior record involving drugs. If he is here illegally, it would be no surprise if he had been released back onto the streets after serving time on drug charges (assuming he served any time all). As I’ve noted before and noted today in my column, there is still no system for tracking criminal illegal alien felons and other inmates. Some background:

Criminal aliens are supposed to be taken immediately into federal immigration custody after serving their sentences. But as the Justice Department’s Inspector General reported, the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s failure to track foreign-born inmates led to the release of 35,318 criminal aliens into the general population in 2000 — roughly one-third of whom went on to commit serious crimes.

By coincidence, the Los Angeles Times reports today that L.A. County is finally getting around to dealing with the criminal illegal alien population.

A controversial plan to train clerks at the Los Angeles County jail to identify inmates who are illegal immigrants and turn them over to immigration officials was approved Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors.

After hours of intense debate, the board voted 3 to 2 for the plan, the first time a California jailer has agreed to screen inmates for immigration violations. “People who come here illegally and commit crimes need to be prosecuted, do their time and then return to their home country,” Sheriff Lee Baca said Monday…

Currently, two federal immigration agents stationed at Twin Towers Jail interview as many as 20 convicted foreign-born inmates daily.

About 80% are placed in federal custody for possible deportation or prosecution on federal immigration charges.

But federal officials estimate that about 40,000 of the 170,000 inmates who come through the county jail each year are in the United States illegally.

The OBL (open borders lobby) is naturally up in arms. What does it matter if someone has violated immigration laws?

Go ask the relatives of the dead train commuters.

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