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Sanctuary kills: A bloody, needless tragedy in Aurora

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 7, 2008 04:55 PM

How many times do I have to ask: How many more tragedies like this need to occur before Americans finally hold illegal alien sanctuary enablers responsible for their reckless, deadly neglect?

Lord have mercy. One of the victims was a 3-year-old child enjoying ice cream at Baskin-Robbins:

As new questions arose about the man police say is responsible for the tragedy, several hundred friends and relatives gathered Saturday night outside an ice cream shop to mourn three lives suddenly lost.

“It hurts now,” said Vito Kudlis, surrounded by friends as he and his wife, Enely, wept for their 3-year-old son, Marten. “It is freaky. It is crazy.”

Marten, Patricia Guntharp, 49, of Centennial and Debra Serecky, 51, of Aurora all died when a Thursday night collision caused vehicles to careen into the Baskin-Robbins at the corner of South Havana Street and East Mississippi Avenue.

Saturday night, they were remembered in a candlelight vigil. Small children held glow sticks as others added stuffed animals — especially bears — to a memorial.

Francis Hernandez, the man being held for suspicion of vehicular homicide in the deaths, is now being detained by federal immigration officials.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials sent a faxed detainer on Hernandez, 23, at 12:04 a.m. Saturday, indicating his U.S. citizenship is under question, according to Arapahoe County jail officials and federal authorities.

Hernandez has been arrested 16 times in five years in Colorado but apparently has never been deported, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.

Watch the revolving door go ’round and ’round:

Hernandez had been arrested in Denver as recently as July 18 on a traffic stop and charged with numerous crimes, including resisting police, CBI records say. Had he been held on an ICE detainer at that time, he would have been jailed until his case was completed and his sentence served and then deported, a time-consuming process.

Hernandez is now being held on the ICE detainer and for investigation of three counts of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and hit and run in Thursday night’s accident, Aurora police spokesman Lt. John Sopranuk said…

…Dating back to 2003, Hernandez has been arrested for mostly misdemeanor offenses 16 times by police officers in Denver, Longmont, Aurora, Westminster, Lakewood and Broomfield and sheriff’s deputies in Boulder, Gilpin and Arapahoe counties, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records. His charges have included forgery, assault, theft, fraud and driving under restraint.

Sopranuk said Friday that Hernandez was born in California and is a U.S. citizen.

But he added that detectives could find no indication that he had ever held a driver’s license in California or Colorado.

Also according to CBI records, Hernandez, who has 11 aliases and two listed birth dates, has four listed birth places, including Mexico.

ICE placed a detainer because of indications he was born outside the country, said

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