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.
This case is a textbook example of the continued failures of interior immigration enforcement. The San Jose Police Department, whose top officials are patting themselves on the back for the investigation, maintains an official policy of looking the other way at immigration law-breaking.
According to the San Jose Police Department's official policy manual, under section L7911 of the line and operations procedure, officers may not "initiate police action when the primary objective is directed towards discovering the alien status of a person." Translation: San Jose cops are effectively barred from asking whether illegal aliens are here illegally, and officers are prevented from proactively contacting federal immigration authorities if they suspect violations of immigration law.
This is the same idiotic sanctuary rule maintained in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City -- where the official hands-off policy by police recently resulted in the gang rape of a woman by homeless illegal aliens with long rap sheets. They were on the streets because they had never been reported by local cops to federal immigration authorities.
"Our department is very lenient" when it comes to illegal aliens, San Jose Police Department spokeswoman Unger told me. Indeed. San Jose is one of the police departments that refused to cooperate with the Justice Department's effort to interview thousands of illegal aliens from terror-friendly and terror-sponsoring nations in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"We don't do anything on immigration," Unger lamented. "It's not, you know, politically correct. It's frustrating. You would think that with all that's going on in the world . . . "
You would think.