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Pr. William chief questions federal immigration policy

Prince William County Police Chief Charlie T. Deane has sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security questioning a policy that allows illegal immigrants waiting for deportation proceedings to get a permit to work.

The Aug. 30 letter sent to John T. Morton, assistant secretary of homeland security, was sparked by a recent drunk-driving accident in which a Bolivian man, Carlos A Martinelly-Montano, crashed into another vehicle, killing one nun and injuring two others. Martinelly-Montano, who entered the United States illegally when he was 8, was awaiting a deportation hearing after two convictions for drunken driving.

Deane said Martinelly-Mantano was granted an Employment Authorization Card on Jan. 14, 2009, just months after being placed in deportation proceedings. In the letter, Deane said he has concerns with a policy that allows an EAC to be issued to someone waiting to be deported. "I ask that this glaring gap in DHS policy be ended," he said.

Deane said investigations show Martinelly-Mantano used his EAC to show legal presence and obtain a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles identification card.

Deane said he has concerns that DMV documents issued based on EACs can be misleading and result in illegal immigrants inappropriately being released back into the community when processed by law enforcement officials. Deane said he would like the practice of issuing EACs to be "reconsidered and corrected."

By Jennifer Buske  |  September 3, 2010; 3:51 PM ET
Categories:  Jennifer Buske  
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Last fall my brother was on route 1 in New Jersey coming home from a trip to the vet with his beloved golden retriever. A drunk who blew a .20 ran a red light at an estimated 50 miles per hour and rolled my brother's SUV a number of times. This was not this gentleman's first, nor his second, nor his third, nor his forth, nor his fifth, but the sixth time he was be involved in an accident while driving under the influence. He is also an illegal immigrant. He has not served a day in jail, he obviously has not been deported and he is still driving. How can that be? His family and a so-called immigrant rights organization hired a lawyer who has thus far successfully argued that it would be hardship on his family to deport him, it would be a hardship on his family to put him in jail, and the lawyer has been successful in keeping him out of jail and in this country. As I said, his sixth DUI has not slowed him down and he is still driving. This is simply wrong. Fortunately, my brother was not too badly hurt - some broken ribs and a lot of bruises - and his dog was quite shaken but basically unhurt. I am almost certainly biased, but allowing illegal immigrants who have been convicted of DUI to stay in this country is wrong.

Posted by: jeffreed | September 3, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

There may not be enough jail space to hold every illegal alien pending deportation. But that is no reason to allow someone, who is not otherwise authorized to stay in the U.S., to remain in the U.S. pending a hearing.

They should either be set free in their own country and allowed to return at the time of their hearing or immigration courts should be established at U.S. consulates and hearings held in their home countries.

When a bank robber is released on bond, he is not allowed to continue spending the loot until he is finally convicted and ALL his appeals have been denied. So why should an illegal immigrant be allowed to stay in the U.S. pending a deportation hearing? If he wants to get out pending his hearing, he should go home and visit his family.

However, in this case, Virginia should not have allowed him to get another driver's license after being convicted of all those DUIs. That is Virginia's fault.

Posted by: kevin9 | September 3, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

This makes no sense at all. Why would DHS allow someone to work which allows him to obtain a drivers license when he has prior DUIs and is facing deportation?

This wouldnt be happening if we had a national id so we would know who are the legal residents and who arent. Linked to your ssn and different cards for citizens and non.

Posted by: jmfay | September 4, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

@Jimmy, Sorry to hear about your friend, What your friend needs is a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, here is the one that I know of who offers no charge consultation, hope he feels better soon

Posted by: cadynhenry04 | September 4, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

It is clear from the news reports that that ICE is aware of or catching more illegal aliens and other deportable people than can be held by our slow deportation system of hearings and appeals, etc. Granting an illegal alien a work permit makes absolutely no sense (it's the prize!).

I agree with kevin9 that people illegally here need to be returned to their home country, where they can wait for their hearing to be held remotely or in their country. What's to dispute in many cases?

I also think that we should adopt a rule of only rare adjustments of status from illegal to legal. If someone comes in on a student visa, they leave as a student (didn't they profess the intent to go home on their student visa ap?). If someone comes in as a tourist, they should leave as a tourist. If your status has lapsed in the US you need to leave until such time as you are granted some kind of legal status.

The processing bottlenecks by our immigration system have led to situations like this one, where someone here illegally has a quasi-legal status through a work permit. The 245i amnesty is another example of this confusion. We should switch to a no-adjustment from illegal policy at the same time as we figure out how to speed up the processes.

Posted by: merbc | September 4, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and someone who enjoys bipartisan support for his straightforwardness, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.
That represented an astounding 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund's total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. The cumulative contribution is surely higher now. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.
Previous estimates circulating publicly and in Congress had placed the annual contributions at roughly half of Goss's 2007 figure and listed the cumulative benefit on the order of $50 billion.
The Social Security trust fund faces a solvency crisis that would be even more pressing were it not for these payments.
"If for example we had not had other-than-legal immigrants in the country over the past," Goss e-mailed me, "then these numbers suggest that we would have entered persistent shortfall of tax revenue to cover [payouts] starting [in] 2009, or six years earlier than estimated under the 2010 Trustees Report."

Posted by: Max9010 | September 6, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Max9010 | September 6, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

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