January 30, 2012
San Francisco, CA – On Saturday, California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) held a press conference at St. Mary’s Cathedral to announce he is sponsoring legislation to counter the federal Secure Communities program, which requires local law jails to share the fingerprint data of all arrestees with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Many illegal alien advocacy groups are complaining that the federal program has resulted in too many deportations.
Ammiano said: “States have their own ways of fighting back. We can’t stand by and let innocent people, food vendors, etc., be caught up in sweeps, assume they’re guilty of some violent offense and then deport them and separate them from their families.”
The legislation, known as AB 1081 will be introduced in the spring.
In response, ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas said: “Even though some aliens may be arrested on minor criminal charges, they may also have more serious criminal backgrounds which disguise their true danger to society. Jurisdictions that ignore detainers bear the risk of possible public safety risks.”
If the bill passes and the state refuses to cooperate with Secure Communities, California will join New York in that unlawful and dangerous endeavor.
In June 2011, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that his state would no longer participate in the program which uses fingerprint data from inmates in local jails to determine if they are in the country illegally, known as Secure Communities.
The Democratic governor claimed that the program was too harmful to “immigrants.”
Cuomo said: “There are concerns about the implementation of the program as well as its impact on families, immigrant communities and law enforcement in New York.”
Then, in late October, illegal alien, Luis Rodriguez-Flamenco, 24, was charged with murdering a woman outside a Walmart in upstate New York.
According to the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, the victim, 45-year-old Kathleen I. Byham was leaving the Walmart Super Center on Route 31, around 7:00 p.m. when Rodriguez-Flamenco approached her and stabbed her multiple times in an attempted carjacking.
Byham was transported to Medina Memorial Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries less than an hour later.
Kathleen I. Byham had just received her PhD in Fine Arts and was engaged.
The suspect fled the scene and was later captured following a multi-agency search which utilized K-9 teams and a New York State Police helicopter. When police found Rodriguez-Flamenco, he was with two other illegal aliens, both from Mexico.
Court documents reveal that Rodriguez-Flamenco told investigators: “I ran up to her and I snatched her car keys and I started stabbing her with a small bladed kitchen knife… I don’t know why I did it.”
He continued: “I took her keys and ran across the street…I threw the knife and keys down somewhere in the field.”
It was not the Honduran national’s first run-in with the law in the Empire State.
WGRZ’s 2 On Your Side reported that Rodriquez-Flamenco was arrested two months earlier in Medina and charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly punching a girl in the face.
When arrested for that crime, Rodriquez-Flamenco gave police a fake name and though Justice Dawn Keppler originally set his bail at $25,000 cash, his public defender later went before Justice Larry Sanderson and got the bail reduced to only $2,000.
Despite his illegal status, Rodriquez-Flamenco made bail and was released back onto the streets.
Of course, had cooperation with Secure Communities not been severed by Gov. Cuomo, this tragedy may have been avoided.
Dave Gibson, a former legislative aide to a state senator, has been working as a freelance writer for many years. His work has been published in many newspapers and magazines including the Washington Times. He believes that the issue of illegal immigration is the most pressing issue of our time and can no longer simply be ignored by our elected officials.