Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

One family, one story

In communities across America, the immigration conundrum wears a human face.

Its expression can be sometimes fearful, sometimes joyous. On either side of the issue, it’s often determined or resolute.

Here in Cape Coral this week, that face may be symbolized with shock and grief. It can be symbolized by death.

William Lowell, father of three, died on the floor of his garage last Friday, his throat slashed, his arms sliced with defensive wounds, his body stabbed repeatedly.

He began the evening celebrating his son’s 12th birthday with his daughters, 6 and 8, and his wife, Tanya.

He died alone.

The man who has confessed to killing Mr. Lowell, told police he knifed him, called for a ride and went home to shower away the blood before strolling into the Cape Coral Police Department to tell officers he thought he may have killed someone.

Ronnie Perez told police he didn’t call for help, although he knew Mr. Lowell was dying, because he was “scared.”

That may be.

But we’re appalled.

Not because Mr. Perez, an apparent cold-blooded, self-confessed killer is an illegal immigrant, but because he is an illegal immigrant and this is not the first heinous crime of which he’s been accused.

Ronnie Perez, 26, was convicted in 2001 of lewd or lascivious battery on a child younger than 15.

He was sentenced to 20 months in prison and three years probation.

U.S. Immigration did try to deport him after he did his time, but Cuba wouldn’t issue the traveling papers to take him back.

According to OUR laws, if deportation is unlikely, illegal immigrants can’t be held for more than 90 days, no matter their threat to our society.

So Ronnie Perez walked. Walked right on into Cape Coral carrying sex offender baggage. Walked right on into William Lowell’s garage and — by his own words to police— used a knife to take his life.

In Cape Coral today, the face of the illegal immigration controversy is one of failure.

Debate wet foot-dry foot, enforcement vs. amnesty, walls or open borders if you will.

But don’t tell William Lowell’s wife and children the current system and its policies make any sense at all.


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