If homeland defense means anything, it means being able to dictate who can and cannot call our country home. The case of Melanie Jeanbeaucejour shows that America does not yet have the guts or willpower to swiftly throw out unwelcome guests. This story is sure to bring smiles to sleeper terrorists in our midst.
Jeanbeaucejour is an immigrant nanny from Haiti. She was convicted of killing an 18-month-old baby in upstate New York. A U.S. immigration judge ordered her deported back to her native land more than two years ago. But thanks to a trio of pro-alien, Janet Reno-installed bureaucrats, Jeanbeaucejour continues to enjoy the sweet life in America.
Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper first exposed
Jeanbeaucejour's outrageous case in August. She was convicted of 2nd degree manslaughter in 1995 after admitting that she beat and shook an 18-month-old baby under her care until he stopped breathing. "I hit him two or three times with my fist on the top of his head. I did this to stop him from crying. It did not work," she told to Monroe County, N.Y., investigators. "I do not know how long I shook the baby, but I did not stop until he was unconscious," her police statement said, according to the Times.
An autopsy report noted that the baby's cause of death was blunt trauma to the baby's head, chest and abdomen. One official told the Times he had "never seen such a brutal beating involving a baby."
As punishment for the taking of an innocent child's life, Jeanbeaucejour received a measly six-year sentence. She served just two years. After her release, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service argued that as a convicted criminal alien resident, Jeanbeaucejour should be returned to her native Haiti. INS got its act together and won a deportation order from U.S. immigration judge Phillip Montante.
But as insiders know only too well, the deportation process is an endless litigious morass designed to keep unwanted aliens in this country as long as possible. Jeanbeaucejour conjured up a sob story about the "extreme hardship" her husband and five children would suffer if she were deported. So much for the emotional hardship this callous killer nanny caused the family of the toddler she violently beat to death with her bare hands. Never mind the extreme danger she poses to other American babies.
Jeanbeaucejour successfully lobbied the Board of Immigration Appeals, an obscure federal bureaucracy of judges who are independent of INS and have the power to overturn deportation orders nationwide. A panel of three board members concluded that Jeanbeaucejour's crime "does not constitute a crime of violence" and is not an aggravated felony subject to deportation guidelines.
The judges who support Jeanbeaucejour -- Cecilia Espenoza, Lory D. Rosenberg and Gustavo Villageliu -- were all appointed to the Board of Immigration Appeals by Clinton attorney general Janet Reno. Legal analyst Beverley Lumpkin notes that Espenoza and Rosenberg are known as "reflexive advocates for aliens who just don't care about the facts of a case." Espenoza's left-wing roots are so deeply ingrained, Lumpkin reports, that she named her son after the violent Marxist guerrilla Che Guevara.
The INS appealed the murderer-friendly trio's ruling to the full board last summer. President Bush recently appointed two new members, but the rest of the appellate body and its managing office, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, consist of like-minded immigration activists and Department of Justice careerists. For four months, the appeal gathered dust.
Attorney General John Ashcroft is now reportedly reviewing the Jeanbeaucejour case. But if Ashcroft punts it back to the appeals board, its final decision can then be appealed to the federal courts.
Meanwhile, Jeanbeaucejour breathes free and easy in our homeland.
Any attempt at immigration reform will fail if the secretive, superfluous, and soft-on-crime Board of Immigration Appeals is neglected. The board should be swept clean of Reno-Clinton activists -- or better yet, abolished. It's time to stop putting alien rights over American lives.