In 2008, Guatemalan national Olga Marina Franco del Cid was sentenced to eight years in state prison after being convicted of four counts of criminal vehicular homicide, 17 counts of criminal vehicular operation, giving a false name to police, failing to stop at the entrance to a thruway, and driving without a valid license. These charges were the result of Franco del Cid crashing into a school bus in Lyon County, Minnesota. The tragedy killed four children between the ages of 9 and 13.
Only three and a half years after she was deported following her prison sentence, Franco del Cid was arrested for illegally re-entering the country and using a false Social Security number on an Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.
Killing four children due to breaking the law obviously didn’t teach this illegal alien a lesson. But it’s equally concerning that a criminal alien could find her way back into the United States so easily after deportation, and once again raises serious questions about the state of the United States’ border security.
While there is little debate that criminals like Franco del Cid belong behind bars, a much better solution would be to stop criminals from entering, or reentering the United States. That starts with securing our borders. One of the biggest complaints the open borders lobby raises about securing the border is cost. But according to The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the United States spends at least $11 billion every year on “administration of justice” costs related to illegal immigration.
For comparison, the U.S. could build a 1,000 mile-long, 40-foot high wall for approximately $25 billion. Maintaining and monitoring this wall would only cost about $1 billion annually. FAIR estimates that even if the border wall decreases the overall costs of illegal immigration by only 5 percent, the benefits would fully pay for themselves within six years. So not only would better border security help keep criminal aliens from entering the United States, it’s a sound fiscal investment as well.
However, a wall alone will not stop all illegal aliens from attempting to enter the United States, or in Franco del Cid’s case, illegally re-entering the country as a convicted criminal. Her successful return to the U.S., in spite of a previous deportation, highlights the importance of passing Kate’s Law, which would impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for “the illegal reentry of aliens with certain previous criminal convictions.” A heavy criminal penalty on top of strong border security will make most criminal illegal aliens think twice about attempting to re-enter the country.
Other common-sense reforms that would deter illegal immigration of all kinds include closing existing asylum loopholes, implementing a biometric entry-exit system, and requiring all employers to run new hires through E-Verify.
One would hope that increasing occurrences of tragic crimes committed by criminal illegal aliens would spur Congress to institute measures to prevent them. However, open borders advocates have largely succeeded in preventing the most effective changes from taking place. Until Congress decides to stand up to the mass-immigration lobby, tragedies like this will continue occurring across the country.