APRIL 20, 2007
Devastated family members demanded to know why federal authorities failed to deport the drunken illegal immigrant who killed a young father of five even though the Mexican man had previously been convicted of felonies in U.S. courts.
During the illegal alien’s latest court hearing in Northern California this week, grieving relatives pressed prosecutors for answers in this tragedy which could have been prevented if federal immigration authorities had done their job.
The illegal immigrant, Isidro Pena Soto, is charged with felony drunk driving, as well as felony possession of methamphetamine, for killing a 33-year-old man in a head-on crash. California Highway Patrol say the drunken Soto was traveling at 90 miles per hour and his vehicle crossed the highway’s double yellow line before slamming into Kent Boone’s car head on.
Solano was supposed to be deported in 2005 after he pleaded guilty to felony drug possession and drunk driving for the fourth time. He has also been convicted of driving without a license six times and served a 122-day prison sentence in a Solano County jail. Federal law says he should have been put on an immigration hold and subsequently deported.
Instead the felon was released back into the unsuspecting community and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are blaming local police for not notifying them. County prosecutors told grieving family members at this week’s court hearing that the case “was mishandled” and police refuse to comment.
One local newspaper wrote that, considering his extensive rap sheet and multiple convictions, it is inexplicable that this illegal alien was allowed to remain in the country. The same story quotes an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official saying that cases like this certainly “underscore why we wan to encourage local law enforcement agencies to tell us when they encounter foreign nationals with multiple convictions for crimes that certainly present a potential threat to public safety.”
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