A popular view on the Left is that illegal immigrants who commit no crime should be free to remain on American soil. These people conveniently overlook the fact that the act of entering the U.S. by sneaking across the border is a crime.
For some liberals, however, it goes beyond just that splitting of hairs. They believe that even illegals who commit other, more serious crimes should also be set free.
That was apparently the thinking of a judicial referee in Oregon who helped an illegal alien escape the custody of waiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
According to The Oregonian, the immigrant in question was being arraigned on an impaired driving accusation — a crime that the federal government has long considered a priority for deportation. U.S. Attorney Billy Williams is quoted as saying that the agents “were waiting and waiting.” When they asked the alien’s defense attorney when the man would be coming out, the attorney “said something to the effect of: ‘He will be coming out soon.’ Well, that never happened.” Instead, “the man exited the courtroom through a side door” and vanished.
The article goes on to note that judicial “referees … have the same authority as circuit judges. They typically preside over small claims matters, as well as landlord and tenant issues, civil commitments and traffic arraignments.” The identity of the referee in this case is being withheld.
The incident is now the subject of an internal review by Circuit Court Judge Nan Waller, who said late Monday that while court officials shouldn’t impede the work of federal agents, her first priority is ensuring that people who have business before the bench “feel comfortable.”
The courts have a responsibility to try to make sure there is good access to the courthouse and we have encouraged ICE to view the courthouse as a sensitive location.
It sounds as though the judge has made her mind up. Before she delivers her final ruling on the conduct of the referee, maybe she should review the case of another illegal immigrant who was charged with impaired driving. His name is Norlan Estrada-Reyes, and his arrest for driving under the influence in 2014 was never reported to ICE. Last month he struck and killed an attorney in Denver, then fled the scene of the accident.