Better East Texas: Addressing illegal immigration

Better East Texas: Addressing illegal immigration

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The suspected killer of Kayla Gomez-Orozco is identified as an illegal immigrant – meaning he was here, in the U.S. illegally.

You cannot watch the news and not know that there are millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S. It is a challenge that President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to address through any number of means. There will be real debate on that.

But what cannot be debated is that in the case of Gustavo Zavala-Garcia, an illegal immigrant who committed a crime – yes, another crime beyond what he is accused of. This happened back in 2014 when he was convicted of a Class A misdemeanor – assaulting a family member and he served 30 days in jail.

Now, you would think that our legal process would have very little wiggle room and that persons here illegally, convicted of crimes, would not be allowed to stay in the U.S. They would be deported immediately after their debt to society was paid. But that is not what happened to Garcia.

It is hard to get exact dates, but it looks like he served his 30 days and was held in custody through an immigration detainer for a day and then, essentially released. Someone somewhere determined all was well with Garcia and he was released – not deported. This situation is at the very least a big loophole in the process and how we treat those convicted of criminal acts in our country.

If you are here illegally and break our rules and you are in our custody, you should not be allowed back into our society.  It is that simple.

*Editor's note: Immigration and Customs officials have said that Zavala-Garcia's case has not yet gone to trial.

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