On June 21, 2018 ICE posted a news release, Honduran man pleads guilty to transporting illegal aliens. This successful prosecution was only possible because of the able assistance provided to ICE by a Fairfax County police officer.
Here is an excerpt from this news release:
According to court documents, Danny Josue Zelaya-Ortiz, aka “Jose Castro”, 29, was part of a conspiracy to charge illegal aliens in the United States a fee for transporting them from Texas to other states across the country. In April 2018, Zelaya-Ortiz picked up at least six alien passengers, all of whom had been smuggled into the United States from the Mexico border. Zelaya was driving the passengers towards Maryland and the New York area when his vehicle was stopped in Virginia by Fairfax County Police on April 25, 2018. He was cited for an improper vehicle tag display and driving without an operator’s license. Homeland Security Investigations special agents responded to the scene after it was determined Zelaya-Ortiz and the passengers had no lawful status in the United States. Zelaya-Ortiz admitted he knew the passengers were illegal aliens and that he received payments for his role in the scheme. At the time of the crime, Zelaya-Ortiz had been in the country illegally after having been twice removed by immigration officials.
Before criminals can be successfully prosecuted for their crimes, these law violators obviously must first be identified and evidence of their crimes must be accumulated.
The above-noted case illustrates the importance of routine and effective cooperation between local police and ICE to facilitating federal investigations into immigration law violations. In this instant case Danny Josue Zelaya-Ortiz, aka “Jose Castro,” an illegal alien from Honduras who had been arrested and deported on at least three previous occasions was taken into custody by ICE, along with several illegal aliens he was caught transporting. from the U.S./Mexican border to Maryland and ultimately to New York City.
This illustrates that illegal immigration impacts every state of the United States, from border to border and coast to coast.
Zelaya-Ortiz is also an apparent co-conspirator in an alien smuggling criminal organization. He is subject to prosecution for multiple federal immigration-related crimes including illegal re-entry, which, depending on his possible criminal history, may expose him to a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years in prison under the provisions of 8 U.S.C. § 1326.
Smuggling, transporting, harboring and shielding illegal aliens are felonies under the provisions of 8 U.S.C. § 1324.
The illegal aliens who were also taken into custody in this case, may also have committed various felonies but identifying those possible crimes will fall to the ICE agents who are pursuing this investigation.
Those illegal aliens, for reasons known only to them, had entered the United States surreptitiously without inspection. This in and of itself poses and obvious potential threat to national security and public safety.
The only reason that Zelaya-Ortiz was prosecuted is that a sharp-eyed police officer in Virginia took the initiative to contact ICE.
It is entirely possible that an ensuing investigation may also help ICE to identify the alien smuggling/human trafficking organization with which Zelay-Ortiz conspired.
It has been said that the longest voyage begins with the first step. Often the arrest of a member of a criminal conspiracy may well represent that first step along the path to the ultimate investigation into a massive criminal conspiracy.
To understand just how important this is, consider the following quote from the 9/11 Commission Staff Report 9/11 and Terrorist Travel found on page 61:
Exploring the Link between Human Smugglers and Terrorists
In July 2001, the CIA warned of a possible link between human smugglers and terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.149 Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that since 1999 human smugglers have facilitated the travel of terrorists associated with more than a dozen extremist groups.150 With their global reach and connections to fraudulent document vendors and corrupt government officials, human smugglers clearly have the “credentials” necessary to aid terrorist travel.
In this dangerous post-9/11 era we are frequently implored by our political leaders, “If you see something, say something.”
The idea is that because of a shortage of law enforcement officers, civilians must act as the “eyes and ears” of the police to augment the often sparse numbers of law enforcement officers.
This is an effective and obviously commonsense approach to law enforcement and public safety. However mayors of Sanctuary Cities prohibit law enforcement officers under their jurisdiction from applying that approach when they encounter those who violate our nation’s immigration laws, despite the fact that both the 9/11 Commission Reportand the official report prepared by the 9/11 Commission staff, 9/11 and Terrorist Travel repeatedly noted that multiple failures of the immigration system not only enabled the 9/11 hijacker-terrorists to enter the United States and embed themselves, but was a major fact in other international terrorists found in the United States that the 9/11 Commission studied.
Additionally, in the years since the attacks of 9/11 a list of other foreign terrorists operating in the United States also exploited multiple failures of the immigration system.
Although mayors of Sanctuary Cities claim to be acting “compassionately” to protect “immigrants” from immigration law enforcement, in reality, lawful immigrants and nonimmigrant aliens such as tourists and foreign students need no “protection” from ICE as long as they abide by the terms of their respective admissions into the United States.
The only aliens who should be concerned about immigration law enforcement are those who violate those laws.
By prohibiting their police officers from cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement authorities mayors of Sanctuary Cities undermine the Constitution, the rule of law, public safety and national security. They place the law enforcement officers who operate under their command in the untenable position of having to violate their oaths of office.
By falsely, recklessly and maliciously portraying ICE agents and other law enforcement personnel who are engaged in the enforcement of our immigration laws, as “terrorists,” endangers the safety of those agents and their families as we have seen in recent news reports, and may compromise and obstruct their efforts to enforce our immigration laws- fundamental to national security and public safety.
The open hostility shown towards ICE agents by a laundry list of anarchist politicians on all levels of government, is also likely to have a chilling effect, inhibiting citizens and aliens alike from cooperating with ICE agents and reporting immigration crimes that result in the exploitation of aliens as well as the presence of foreign terrorists and transnational criminals.
This is certainly contrary to commonsense, morality and the well being of America and Americans.
One of my previous articles, Sanctuary Cities Protect Crooked Employers and Human Traffickers focused on the irreparable damage created when police officers are prevented from working with ICE personnel, ostensibly creating a “sanctuary.”
In reality, the only individuals who are being protected by these insane and illegal policies are transnational criminals, international terrorists and international fugitives from justice. However, this creates a virtual “free fire zone” for innocent people, often the ethnic immigrants, who live in the various ethnic immigrant communities around the United States all too often fall victim to the predatory crimes of these pernicious aliens who infest those beleaguered communities because they were shielded from discovery by ICE although they should have been removed from the United States.
Where criminal aliens are concerned, the surest way of effectively dealing with recidivism is deportation!
As I noted in yet another previous article, Sanctuary cities Betray America, Americans and Immigrants.
Conversely, synergistic cooperation between local police with ICE agents and other immigration law enforcement personnel can be a highly effective force-multiplier to combat dangerous crimes that may well have far-reaching consequences.
This coming election the question that must be asked by the electorate is simple and straight-forward, “Does the candidate stand with Americans or with transnational gangs and international terrorists?”
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.