Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Mother Works To Change Immigration Laws
May 1, 2007 04:17 PM CDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A Middle Tennessee woman whose son died in a motor vehicle accident is working to change state laws regarding immigration.
In November 2006, Lyn Tsuji's son, Alex Tsuji died in a car accident.
"We were just shopping for Thanksgiving, and I was buying them video games," Tsuji said.
The family planned to have an all-night video marathon.
As they drove, another driver Mauricio Salazar crashed into their car. Police said he was driving while intoxicated and he was in the Unted States illegally.
She said she thinks about her son all the time.
"Every morning you have to wake up and I have to make peace that I won't be seeing him anymore," she said. "And when I go to sleep, I just hope God is keeping him well."
Refusing to suffer quietly, Tsuji is going public with her private pain. She is pushing for change on Capitol Hill.
"Mr. Salazar has broken and ignored American laws," said Tsuji.
She's furious Salazar was drunk behind the wheel and in this country illegally the day he took Alex away.
To her, what's worse is a plea bargain that would make him eligible in less than three years.
"That is the wrong message," she said. "It just says it's okay, and I don't think that's okay."
Tsuji said that the laws are failing to enforce immigration.
Some lawmakers are listening.
"This is clearly an example of what continues to occur, and will continue, until we start taking some strong measures in our states," said Sen. Bill Ketron, a Republican from Murfreesboro.
State lawmakers are already considering more than 50 new immigration bills this session alone.
Tsuji said she'll be doing her research, making sure Capitol Hill never forgets her story.
"Other countries they have different laws and they are stricter and from where my husband comes from, their laws are very strict about drinking and driving, and their immigration laws are very strict, too," Tsuji said.
Salazar is behind bars in Coffee County. He could be eligible for parole in less than three years.
Ivy Scarborough, the attorney representing the Tsujis, is already representing two other Tennessee families who have lost loved ones in crashes with people who authorities said were driving drunk and living in the United States illegally.

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