Michelle Malkin

It's every mother's worst nightmare: A 9-year-old girl, dragged from her San Jose, Calif., home in broad daylight, is kidnapped and raped over three days before being released by her attacker.

The story made headline news all week. Now, here is the story behind the story that the liberal media has failed to tell.

The man arrested and charged with nine felony counts related to the terrifying abduction and sexual assault is an illegal alien. As of this writing, not a single newspaper covering the story has bothered to report on the accused attacker's immigration history. The San Jose Police Department confirmed his illegal status to me in a phone call on Thursday morning. He was arraigned under the name "Enrique Sosa Alvarez," but a fingerprint check identified him as "David Montiel Cruz." As "Cruz," this man was previously convicted of auto theft. Both "Alvarez" and "Cruz" may be aliases. Police spokeswoman Katherine Unger told me: "We just don't know."

Unger said the department is still not clear on his country of birth. Some neighbors say he was Guatemalan; others report that he often wore a cap bearing the Mexican flag.

As a result of my inquiry, the Department of Homeland Security is now checking into the accused attacker's immigration history and whether he had ever been previously ordered deported.

Why does it matter?

It matters because the accused kidnapper/rapist never should have been in this country in the first place.

Time and again, our protectors have failed to screen out criminal menaces whose primary goal is not to seek a better life in America, but to make life miserable for everybody else.

A 9-year-old girl may have been brutally raped, scarred forever, partly because of the federal government's failure to enforce its borders. According to neighbors' accounts, "Alvarez" was a violent thug who beat his girlfriend, harassed his community and held no job.

Without solid verification of "Alvarez's" identity, it's impossible to know whether he had a history of child abduction or child molestation in his native country. We also don't know whether immigration officials are responsible for letting "Cruz/Alvarez" loose in violation of federal law after his auto theft conviction. Criminal aliens are supposed to be taken immediately into federal immigration custody after serving their sentences. But as the Justice Department's inspector general reported, the Immigration and Naturalization Service's failure to track foreign-born inmates led to the release of 35,318 criminal aliens into the general population in 2000 -- roughly one-third of whom went on to commit serious crimes.

Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

©Creators Syndicate