Protesters decry illegal immigration

December 25, 2019

first_imgPALMDALE – More than 50 people carrying American flags and signs that read “Stop illegal immigration” demonstrated Saturday at an intersection where a young Palmdale man was fatally injured in a crash blamed on an unlicensed, uninsured undocumented immigrant who tried to walk away after the collision. The protesters said local government officials should do more to deter illegal immigration, including turning over to federal authorities undocumented immigrants who have been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and similar crimes rather than releasing them to await trial. “If they release drunk illegal-alien drivers after they sober up, they’re setting us up for more deaths of American citizens,” said Frank Jorge, founder of the Antelope Valley Independent Minutemen, which organized Saturday’s demonstration. With songs such as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and the Eagles’ “Lying Eyes” playing on loudspeakers, the demonstrators stood along 10th Street West at Avenue O, beside a memorial cross and candles for 20-year-old Tyler Lundin of Palmdale. Passing motorists honked and waved. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“It’s been overwhelmingly positive,” Jorge said of the response from passers-by. “I don’t think I’ve seen anybody give us a thumbs-down or a middle finger.” Lundin died four days after an Oct.22 crash in which his pickup truck collided with a compact car that turned left in front of it. The car’s two occupants tried to walk away after the crash, but they were caught and detained by several people who witnessed the crash, sheriff’s deputies said. Wilfredo Briswela, 22, of Rosamond, who prosecutors said is an unlicensed, uninsured, undocumented immigrant, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, punishable by up to a year in jail, and felony hit-and-run, punishable by up to four years in prison. He’s in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail awaiting trial. Littlerock resident Susan Zaks stood beside Lundin’s roadside memorial with a hand-lettered sign reading, “The cost of illegals.” She said she is not against immigrants – her father and his parents came to the United States from England, her mother’s parents from Russia and her husband from Israel – but wants immigrants to comply with U.S. immigration laws. “I want everyone coming in the front door, just like my father, my grandparents and my husband did,” Zaks said. By federal law, immigrants – legal or illegal – are deported after they serve their sentences for serious crimes including murder, robbery, child molestation and some thefts. But Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said they do not routinely check the immigration status of people arrested for misdemeanors or cited for offenses such as driving without a license, though they routinely impound vehicles driven by people without licenses. Jorge, a Mojave resident, said the Antelope Valley Independent Minutemen was founded to try other tactics not used by the nationally known Minuteman Project, whose members have staked out border crossings used by people entering the United States illegally. The group’s first demonstration was in September at east Palmdale’s Four Points intersection, where they protested loitering by day laborers whom they presumed to be mostly, if not entirely, undocumented immigrants. They also protested the September 2005 death of off-duty paramedic Michael Sprinkles, whose motorcycle was hit by a compact car driven by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported in 1999 for crimes committed in the United States and had a driver’s license under one of his many assumed names. The group’s members have also appeared before the Lancaster and Palmdale city councils, and Jorge said he thinks their pressure is responsible for a Lancaster decision to reject Mexican matricular consular cards as identification for city business, and for Palmdale officials’ consideration of requiring companies with city contracts to verify they are not employing people who are in the United States illegally. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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