Lax immigration laws made crime possible

By Rick Badie, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Victoriano Vega Jiminez represents all that's wrong with immigration.

... He's an illegal alien. He's also a drug dealer.

In a Monday night raid at Jiminez's house in Suwanee he owns two others in Lawrenceville federal agents say they made the largest methamphetamine bust to ever take place along the East Coast.

Jiminez was charged with storing 174 pounds of crystal methamphetamine valued at $18 million. He had $700,000 in cash stashed in the house off Suwanee Dam Road. More drugs and $80,000 were found in two vehicles parked in the driveway. About $300,000 was found in the other two houses....

He's a classic example of what can move in and set up house in Gwinnett thanks to lax immigration controls....

Men like Jiminez, who see a ripe opportunity for crime, and set up ways to systemically pursue it. Men like the home-invasion ring that terrorized residents last summer. Men up to no good.

They are just as good as any of the usual reasons cited for why we need to stop illegal immigration. Yet we seem to aid and abet it. To wink and nod at it. To avoid middle ground and frank talk about it.

Georgia's illegal immigrants can't get a driver's license or Social Security card. But our government issues them individual tax identification numbers so they can pay taxes. It's a ticket to mainstream living. Illegal immigrants or if you prefer, undocumented workers use taxpayer IDs to buy homes. Some banks and mortgage companies accept them.

Local authorities don't enforce immigration laws.... But that same practice creates situations in which the greater public suffers.

Last May, six of the eight Hispanic men arrested for a string of county home invasions lived here illegally. One had been arrested three times previously in 2002 on a concealed weapons charge and twice in 2003 for breaking into cars. No authority ever checked his legal status....

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