OCTOBER 07, 2011
In a truly astounding case, an illegal immigrant convicted of driving drunk in Wisconsin will have work privileges while he serves an 11-month sentence because the judge never considered the man’s immigration status.That means the illegal alien will be free to go to work while he uses the county jail as a “bed and breakfast”financed by taxpayers, according to Milwaukee’s outraged sheriff.Here’s why. The judge claims that it’s illegal for a circuit judge to ask a defendant whether they are in the U.S. legally or illegally, according to an official court statement quoted in a local newspaper. Therefore, there was no way for the sentencing judge to know that this particular offender is an illegal immigrant, who incidentally, isn’t authorized to work in this country.The shocking case only made news because furious local law enforcement officials made it public this week. They knew that the drunk driver, Armando Rodriguez-Benitez, is an illegal alien and even reported it to federal immigration authorities. In July Rodriguez-Benitez was arrested after driving in the wrong direction on a local highway. Rodriguez-Benitez had crashed into one vehicle and had near collisions with several others.This week Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner sentenced Rodriguez-Benitez to 11 months at the county jail with work-release privileges. The illegal alien faced up to a decade in jail on the charge of recklessly endangering safety and should have been deported immediately, according to Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. After all, Rodriguez-Benitez had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system and came dangerously close to having a head-on collision during his rampage.In a written statement cited by the paper, Sheriff Clarke asks a logical question: “Why would we let an illegal immigrant out on work release to look for a job he’s not supposed to have? He’s in the country illegally.” The sheriff assures that the illegal immigrant is a flight risk and predicts he will flee as soon as he’s released to work.Incredibly, this marks the third case in Milwaukee this year involving illegal immigrants arrested for driving intoxicated. In July one of them (Leopoldo Salas-Gayton) was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a young mother on New Year’s Day. At his sentencing the illegal alien read a letter in Spanish asking the victim’s family for forgiveness and mercy.Wisconsin has long offered illegal immigrants sanctuary and many local police department’s ban officers from asking about suspects’ immigration status. Last year the state’s capital city, Madison, actually passed anordinance guaranteeing that it won’t enact laws to help curb immigration. Lawmakers said they unanimously approved it because minorities in the area felt that Arizona’s immigration control law would cause backlash all the way in the Badger State.
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