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Politics

The Savopoulos Family’s Alleged Killer Eluded Immigration Authorities Too

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A story that continues to be featured prominently in the mainstream media is the murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco on July 1.

Steinle was walking with her father along Pier 14 that evening of July 1 when she was fatally shot. The suspect, Fransisco Sanchez, who is now in custody, had been booked on March 26 on a drug-related warrant after already having served a federal prison term, but was released from jail on April 15, despite a request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take him into custody.

Sanchez is an illegal alien, which most media sources refer to, euphemistically but legally incorrectly as an “illegal immigrant” or “undocumented immigrant” (this is incorrect because U.S. federal law explicitly defines an “immigrant” as someone who has completed a specific formal process of legal immigration, and defines illegal entrants and remnants, as well as all legal nonimmigrants, as “aliens”). Sanchez has been deported five times to his native Mexico but managed to return, a prime example of the United States’ porous borders.

The story has sparked outrage, added to the illegal alien fodder which is the centerpiece of GOP 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign, as well as that of fellow Republican competitor Senator Ted Cruz (TX) who on Capitol Hill is demanding action to prevent such incidents from occurring again.

But the Steinle murder is not the first of such occurrences. A related story is one concerning Savvas Savopoulos, whose own murder was a major news story this spring.

As TNH reported (“Mystery Deepens about Savopoulos Homicides,” May 23), on May 14 of Greek-American Savvas Savopoulos, CEO of American Ironworks, his wife, Amy, their 10-year-old, son, Philip, and a housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa, were found dead, and the Savopoulos home was on fire. The prime suspect, Daron Wint, who was born in Guyana, was a legal immigrant (a legal permanent resident, i.e., a “green card” holder), but shouldn’t have been. As CNN reported, Wint had been arrested on prior occasions for felonies, which should have automatically triggered a report to ICE, which likely would have led to Wint’s deportation.

Unlike American citizens (whether natural-born or naturalized), who do not lose their citizenship or risk deportation even if they commit crimes, Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) can lose their immigration status and face removal from the United States.

Had Wint been deported, there is, of course, the chance that, like Sanchez, he would have returned to the United States, and the Savopoulos family and their housekeeper might have been his victims anyway. But even though the borders have holes, they also have guards, and though it is not impossible to sneak across them, it is not entirely easy, either.
Moreover, Guyana is not adjacent to the United States, as Mexico is. Unlike Sanchez, Wint would have had to clear considerably more hurdles to return to the United States illegally than Sanchez did. Presumably, then, it is feasible to consider that, had the law enforcement authorities done their job correctly, the Savopouloses and Figueroa might be alive today.

BETTER SCREENING

On July 16, Muhammad Youssuf Abdulazeez opened fire at a Naval recruiting center, in Chattanooga TN, killing four servicemen and wounding others (one of whom died days later), before being killed in a shootout by police. Abdulazeez, who was born in Kuwait in 1990, according to NBC News, was a naturalized U.S. citizen. At press time, law enforcement authorities were trying to piece together unanswered questions about Abdulazeez’ life, and whether he was a “lone gunman” or had help in orchestrating the attack.

In any case, the growing sentiment in the United States regarding illegal aliens also focused on legal immigration, with criticism aimed at the process by which aliens are granted U.S. citizenship, and whether making the process more stringent would prevent dangerous people like Abdulazeez from being in the country.

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