COLUMN: The bloody trail of border insecurity

The bloody trail of America’s out-of-control, broken immigration system claims more victims while Congress continues to shamefully play politics with the lives of citizens it is charged with protecting. When will enough be enough?

The latest bit of carnage occurred in the early morning hours in Indiana before the Super Bowl, hardly noticed in some quarters. And it brings home the fact the dangers posed by lax border security have a potential impact on every American.

Around 4 a.m., Indiana­polis Colts player Edwin Jackson, 26, and his Uber driver, Jeffrey Monroe, 54, were mowed down by a truck piloted by a twice-deported illegal immigrant drunk driver. Jackson and Monroe had pulled over on I-70 when Jackson became ill and were standing next to their vehicle when they were struck by the Ford F-150 driven by Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, who drove on to the emergency shoulder.

Police say Orrego-Savala fled on foot but was later captured. Orrego-Savala was no stranger to immigration or law enforcement.

He had been deported in 2007 and 2009. He was an unlicensed driver. His blood alcohol content registered 0.239 at the scene, nearly three times the legal limit. He initially presented police with a fake Mexican Consulate Identification Card identifying himself as Alex Cabrera Gonsales. Federal immigration officials have placed a hold on him.

The deaths of Jackson and Monroe are just two more in a tiresome litany of deaths of American citizens that can be laid at the feet of an immigration system beset by politics that allows those who shouldn’t be here to flaunt our laws and evade attempts at law enforcement. But it’s not just a broken system, but frequently a willful decision to not enforce.

According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, over the three-year period of 2013-2015, ICE freed 86,288 criminal aliens, many with violent crime convictions, including homicide.

We are not talking about convictions post-release, which would be bad enough — these were pre-release convictions. In other words, ICE, under the Obama administration, knowingly put back on the streets violent illegal immigrants to potentially prey upon American citizens unchecked. 

American citizens have fallen victim to all manner of crimes committed by illegals that could have been prevented with due diligence in regards to controlling entry into the U.S.

We saw it here in Oklahoma when sportscaster Bob Barry Jr. was killed in 2015 by an illegal immigrant making an illegal U-turn in front of his scooter. The offender, who had twice been voluntarily returned to Mexico, had no license and was found with cocaine in his possession. He was sentenced, rather shockingly, to only five years in prison after pleading guilty to causing an accident while driving a vehicle without a valid driver’s license, resulting in death; and 10 years for cocaine possession. He is serving the sentences concurrently.

In San Francisco, a sanctuary city that refuses to turn illegal immigrants arrested on state or local charges over to ICE, 32-year-old Kate Steinle was killed when an illegal immigrant fired a gun, striking her as she walked along a pier with her father. Her last words to her father as she crumpled to the ground were, “Help me, Dad.”

These are not isolated incidents. These are heartbreaking realities of what happens when a nation stops becoming a nation of laws and loses control of its borders.

Keep this in mind the next time Democrats rail against the type of border security many of them once voted to fund, but now oppose. In 2013, all Senate Democrats voted in favor of funding 700 miles of security fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY.

That was then, but now is Trump and all semblance of rationality appears to have been abandoned by the Democrats in an all-out effort to wash their hands of Trump, no matter the cost.

But when that cost is American lives, it’s a lot harder to wash the blood off one’s hands.

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Ruthenberg is an award-winning columnist and writer for the News & Eagle. Contact him at

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