On July 29, 2000, drunk-driving illegal alien Sergio Montelongo-Sanchez killed three young Americans and seriously injured a fourth: Christopher Shackleford, Julieanne Pascoe, Kelli Bourgeois, and Matthew Hunt. Now, the families are mounting a campaign to prevent Montelongo-Sanchez from being paroled decades before his 45-year sentence is up, concerned that he will be deported to his native Mexico only to return to the United States, possibly threatening the lives of more innocent people.
Kenny Shackleford, father of Christopher, compiled a number of news stories and other resources on a memorial website. According to the website, shortly after 1 a.m. in Marietta, Ga., the victims were driving to a friend's home when Montelongo-Sanchez crossed the center line and smashed into Christopher Shackleford's car, killing him instantly at age 19. Julieanne Pascoe, 18, died at the scene within a few minutes. Miechelle "Kelli" Bourgeois, 19, died the following week. Mathew Hunt, 24, was severely and permanently injured. Mr. Hunt and Ms. Bourgeois were to be married.
Although Sergio Montelongo-Sanchez was only 20, he was served enough alcohol at a local bar to have a blood alcohol content of .178, well over the legal limit. Leydi Mendoza, the waitress allegedly responsible for serving Montelongo-Sanchez, was the focus of a criminal investigation, but she reportedly didn't show up to her hearing because she didn't speak English, and no interpreter was available. Additionally, prosecutors were unable to locate the lone witness to the illegal sale of alcohol – Luis Montelongo-Sanchez, Sergio's cousin. According to Kenny Shackleford, Luis is also an illegal alien. The bar was operating without a liquor license.
Sergio Montelongo-Sanchez was sentenced to 45 years in prison. However, next July a parole board will consider releasing him after serving only 12 years of the sentence. Family members of the victims are justifiably upset.
"We have laws for a reason and he broke several of them and killed three people and handicapped a fourth one. And now he gets to walk out of prison like nothing ever happened," said Michael Bourgeois, Miechelle's brother. "You know it's a happy day for him. He gets right out of prison and goes home, and then turns around and comes right back."
This is not unlikely. After enjoying time with his family, the illegal alien can easily slip back into the country due to our nation's porous borders, and relocate to a sanctuary city like Los Angeles or San Francisco. He can pick up a new, and easily-falsified matricula consular ID card from one of Mexico's consulates that will allow him to travel with ease since it's being accepted as legitimate identification by a number of local law enforcement agencies, despite the fact that the FBI and DOJ have called the card "not a reliable form of identification" for a number of reasons. If he so chooses, he can easily get a job illegally in California thanks to a new bill written into law by the democrat legislature that prohibits municipalities from requiring use of E-Verify. And, if he's caught driving drunk in California, he's in luck: A number of municipalities prohibit law enforcement from impounding vehicles driven by drunks and instead allows the driver to call a friend to take over the wheel… at least until out of sight of the checkpoint; these checkpoint policies are pushed by illegal alien advocates all across the country. Public safety has taken a back seat to illegal aliens in many states.
It's important to point out that Montelongo-Sanchez was working illegally in Georgia, reportedly in construction. Though Georgia will soon mandate E-Verify for nearly all employers, it's possible that Montelongo-Sanchez might never have been in the state had Georgia cracked down on illegal employment a decade ago. Although E-Verify wasn't then what it is today, the program is now readily available to all businesses, making workplace enforcement easier than ever before. All states now have the ability to discourage illegal immigration and the problems that come with it, whether it's identification theft or something much more horrific.
The effort of the Mexican government to keep their law-breaking citizens in the United States, despite the many threats caused by illegal aliens is not new. More than a decade ago, after the Georgia INS office decided to start deporting a number of illegal aliens picked up for drunk driving in response to these deaths, Teodoro Maus, then Mexico's consul general in Atlanta, criticized the deportations as "overly punitive." But the INS assistant director Bart Szafnicki told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that "Anyone who is arrested for DUI who is an illegal alien needs to go home." (10/29/2000)
If only the current immigration officials at DHS felt the same way. Unfortunately, it now seems to be standard practice to wait until drunk-driving illegal aliens kill or injure people before their deportation becomes a priority.
With limited resources, immigration officials have gone from focusing on "the worst" to only the "worst of the worst." Over time, limited resources combined with open borders means that more and more Americans will have their lives threatened by an increasing number of foreigners who have no authority to be here.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano does not seem interested in asking Congress for more funding. Instead, the Obama administration is busy filing lawsuits against states that are attempting to protect their citizens by encouraging the enforcement of the nation's immigration laws. Illegal immigration is a bigger threat to America's legal residents than ever before in U.S. history, but the federal government is failing to protect its citizens.
A number of tragic examples have recently illustrated the need to deport illegal aliens at the first possible opportunity instead of waiting for them to cause harm.
The victims' families have set up Facebook pages urging people to contact the Parole Board and voice their concerns about Montelongo-Sanchez's possible release. They have until November 7 to persuade the board before a decision is rendered. You can reach the Bourgeois family by clicking here.
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