Add Donna and Sean Wilson of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, to the terrible list of innocent Americans killed by illegals aliens with numerous prior arrests. The Wilsons' shocking deaths from a frontal collision in a June 8 DUI accident were entirely preventable, and would never have happened if the government were doing its primary job of keeping out invaders. Just when you think the immigration bureaucracy can't get any more inept, you read something like this headline: Man not deported after 14 arrests (The Tennessean, 6/16/06).
Federal and local authorities are trying to figure out how an illegal immigrant from Mexico managed to avoid deportation despite being arrested more than a dozen times in the past five years, agency officials said Thursday.
Gustavo Reyes Garcia, 28, has accumulated dozens of criminal charges and been arrested 14 times in Nashville without being flagged by federal authorities for being in the country illegally.
On June 26, the Wilsons' daughter Heather Steffek appeared in a press conference with gubernatorial candidate Jim Bryson, expressing her shock that such a dangerous serial criminal could be allowed to remain in the United States. Many Americans have been similarly appalled to learn that the government takes so little care about their loved ones' safety.
"Part of the shock of the tragedy is learning there is simply no laws in place at the local or state level to aide deportation of a serial criminal who is an illegal alien," Steffek said. "I'm asking the governor to please support legislation that would remove criminal illegal immigrants from our midst."
The accused killer had five previous DUIs, and was a tragedy waiting to happen. As various studies have shown, hispanics drive drunk at substantially higher rates than Americans.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a Nashville couple was killed two weeks ago in a tragic accident that many say should have been prevented.
SYLVESTER (voice-over): Nashville residents Donna and Sean Wilson were headed to the grocery store. They never made it. Their silver Buick was hit head on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden, I heard just real screeching, you know, tires and everything. And I heard, bam, and then another bam, and then another bam.
SYLVESTER: The driver of the other vehicle has been identified as Gustavo Garcia Rayes. Police found open cans of beer in his suburban, the tags on the vehicle expired. Rayes has a lengthy rap sheet, four DUIs, five driving on a revoked license, two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, more than 14 offenses in total. Rayes should not have been driving. In fact, he should not have even been in the country. Nashville authorities say he's an illegal alien. Despite repeated run-ins with police, he was never deported. The Nashville Police Department says federal officials were notified.
DON AARON, NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: In Nashville, when a person from another country, another nationality, is booked into our system, an automated process alerts federal authorities in Vermont at a federal clearinghouse. What action is taken from there, I don't know.
SYLVESTER: In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement acknowledged receiving four separate inquiries over a two-year period for Gustavo Rayes or Gustavo Garcia. At the time of each of these inquiries, ICE was not aware that these appeared to relate to a single individual. Nothing was done. The Center for Immigration Studies says this is not an isolated incident.
STEVE CAMAROTA, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: We have numerous cases of people committing serious crimes, not being deported, and then going on to committing additional crimes.
SYLVESTER: Federal immigration officials have placed a detainer on Rayes, a little too late for Sean and Donna Wilson.