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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Illegal immigrant policy frustrating, ripe for abuse

Arturo Lupian represents the frustration and the tragedy of the wholesale illegal immigration into the United States.

Police thought they had a pretty good case when a grand jury indicted the 21-year-old Hispanic in the Sixth Avenue Southeast traffic accident that claimed the life of Amber Merkle, 8.

Two witnesses, though, testified that he was a victim and not the cause of the chain reaction accident May 1 of last year.

Police said he was drunk at the time and had open beer containers in the vehicle at the time he smashed into the rear of Sonya Glenn's sport utility vehicle.

Who caused the fatality wasn't established, but Mr. Lupian made a convenient suspect. He was drinking and reportedly driving recklessly, and wasn't likely to present an aggressive defense because he is illegal and Hispanic.

But he did and won his case last week. He beat the odds.

He got even luckier this week when the Immigration Naturalization Service decided he wasn't worth the time and expense needed to send him back to Mexico.

Monday, he walked out of Morgan County Jail after more than 19 months. Never tried for driving while intoxicated, he spent more than enough time in jail to cover the penalty.

Thus the frustration and tragedy of illegal immigration.

Local police have complained for a long time about the futility of rounding up illegal immigrants because INS isn't interested in them, unless they commit serious criminal acts.

And because many of those who get into trouble are not likely to get good lawyers, they wind up in jail, much the way blacks did in the South 30 years ago.

The entire illegal immigration crisis perverts U.S. justice. INS takes its directions from Washington where cheap labor advocates continue to thwart efforts to reform the system.

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