FEBRUARY 24, 2009
Claiming that the sentencing code can’t be transformed into an immigration reform tool, a Pennsylvania appellate court reversed a county judge’s order banishing an illegal immigrant from the state after a drunken-driving conviction.
The judge in southeastern Pennsylvania’s Chester County had given the Mexican illegal alien (Ulises Luna) 10 days to leave the state after serving a sentence for driving drunk. Luna had been arrested by state police and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) after being involved in a crash.
His blood alcohol level was over the state’s legal limit and he eventually pleaded guilty to DUI. Because Luna was a first-time offender, Chester County Judge William Mahon sentenced him to the standard two-day minimum prison term.
Judge Mahon also ordered the criminal illegal immigrant to leave the state after serving his sentence. According to a news report of the transcript, Judge Mahon said: "I just have a real problem accepting the fact that someone is here illegally and breaking our laws…If I was in Mexico, illegally, and did what you did I would probably be locked up for years and thrown out of the country."
In its 10-page opinion a panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, one of two statewide intermediate appellate courts, said that Judge Mahon’s sentence crossed the line into an improper attempt to rid the state of illegal immigrants. Mahon fashioned his own solution to the problem of illegal immigration under the pretext of punishment and the cover of the sentencing code, according to the appellate decision.
The ruling further says that only immigration courts can deport illegal aliens and that banishment from the state is only legal when it serves "either the defendant’s rehabilitation or the protection of public safety." Judge Mahon offered no explanation why deportation “enhances the protection of our citizens,” the court added.
Perhaps the justices of the Pennsylvania Superior Court should become more familiarized with Judicial Watch’s documentation of intoxicated illegal immigrants who have murdered or severely injured innocent Americans throughout the nation.
Among the tragic cases are a drunken illegal alien with an extensive criminal history who killed a young police officer in Phoenix when he slammed his vehicle into the cop’s patrol car; an illegal immigrant who had been arrested 16 times by seven different local police departments throughout Colorado who murdered two women and a toddler when his sports utility vehicle slammed into the women’s pickup truck; a U.S. Marine corporal and his companion killed in Maryland by a Mexican national with an alcohol level four times the legal limit.
Sadly, the tragic list goes on. Deporting these offenders would most certainly enhance the protection of our citizens.
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