Illegal Immigration - The View
From A Police Officer's Car - Pt 1

Guest Commentary
By Frosty Wooldridge

He's an ex-Marine. He served his country with honor. Now in his late 20s, he serves as an officer of what is known as the 'thin blue' line. He's the difference between you being safe at night in your bed or being mugged on a city street or killed by a speeding drug dealer. He patrols a major city in Connecticut on the graveyard shift. This is his log in three parts concerning stories on America's accelerating crime crisis: illegal immigration.
"What made you get in touch with me?" I asked him.
"Nobody in the media will expose what is happening in every city in America," he said. "I couldn't possibly make any of this up. Of the calls that were dispatched last night, two crashes involved Hispanics that fled the scene. One illegal was arrested. A female from Peru, who did not speak English, was arrested for domestic assault with a weapon. I ticketed yet another unlicensed illegal for motor vehicle violations. As a police officer, I come into contact daily with people who are in this country illegally and who have no respect for the law or American citizens. Even when treated with respect and courtesy and being warned instead of being arrested, they again flaunt the law. The reason for this is that they know there are no federal repercussions after they are arrested even though it is discovered they are here illegally. They don't respect our laws because we don't enforce them. Period!"
Few Americans realize that 29% of criminals filling jails across this country are illegal and legal immigrants. They cost US taxpayers nearly $1 billion annually. The ones that suffer from tuberculosis or hepatitis spread those diseases to other inmates. This causes further medical costs into the millions. This officer proceeded with a few examples:
"I stopped a car for a violation and discovered the operator was an unlicensed illegal immigrant who worked as a busboy in a Spanish bar," he said. "I allowed a licensed friend of his to drive him home and warned him he could not drive. Several days later while I was walking a foot post, I observed him about to enter a car. He looked at me, got in, and started to drive away. This time I towed his car and gave him a ticket. The very next week I again observed him driving and this time placed him under arrest, he posted bail. He was arrested again by another officer for operating without a license. He did not respond to court or pay any of his fines. He was arrested on a warrant, but did not serve any jail time. Every officer I know can relate similar stories. These are just the ones we catch."
What would you say is one of your greatest frustrations as a police officer? Is it the fact that Americans must obey laws but illegal aliens don't?
He sat in his cruiser with a deep look of chagrin on his face, "This summer I observed a group of illegal male Hispanics drinking from beer bottles in one of our parks. I did not take action, but told them to the empty the bottles and then join their friends in the picnic area. Beer is allowed, glass is not. I parked a short distance away, but right in front of me, they returned to the vehicle and removed several beer bottles, drinking them a short distance away. I ended their party and wrote tickets. Why did they do this despite my presence? No respect for our laws."
What are the dangerous aspects you encounter as to identification?
"This one drives me nuts," he said. "Illegal immigrants learn many ways to confuse the police and hinder them in their investigations. The most common way is to pretend that they don't speak English. Another common method is using several different names. If a man's name is Juan Sebastien Lopez-Garcia, he will use several variations of that name and often change his date of birth. He may use Juan Lopez the first time he is arrested. The next time he may use Sebastien Garcia. The intent is to prevent an officer from discovering a past arrest or warrant--and it does work. The reason is that rarely does an illegal immigrant have any true documentation of which they are, so it is much tougher to verify a person's identity. A better way is to make a custodial arrest and require photo ID before allowing release. Unfortunately these offenders are often released after showing dubious photo ID's that are easily obtained for a fee."
What you're saying is a complete lack of law and order or respect for the law. With millions more about to be added with the Bush amnesty, what do police officers think about illegal immigration?
"I gotta tell you," he said. "Many Americans are fed up with the current trend of our government turning a blind-eye to the massive problem of illegal immigration. We create immigration laws that are ignored and then, when enough people sneak into this country, we pardon them by granting amnesty. This encourages further violations. It makes you sick. It is also unfair to the thousands of people who have followed the proper immigration procedures to obtain citizenship. It also encourages these people to continue breaking laws while they are in the country, especially motor vehicle laws. Municipal and state law enforcement officials, like myself, are fed up with arresting illegal immigrants, only to have them released. We must re-arrest these individuals when they again commit a crime, as they invariably do."
Are you saying that national security is useless? Is Tom Ridge fooling himself and us? How great is our risk each day?
"I can tell you," he said. "If an illegal immigrant wants to legally circumvent our driving laws, he can obtain a license from a state with minimal identification requirements. In Virginia for example, if a person has a Virginia address and a photo ID, like a passport, he can obtain a license. Once an illegal has this document, he can now legally drive in this country and has legitimate identification. I discovered this after I compared notes with several other officers and learned that illegal immigrants would go to Virginia, get a license, and then use it to drive in other states that had stricter laws for obtaining licenses. This way when they were stopped, the only action an officer could take would be to write a ticket for failure to change address. This is what I do. I spoke with a cooperative illegal immigrant who told me that many of his friends would go to Virginia and that they all used the same address of someone they knew in Virginia, on the application. This was very common and most illegal immigrants knew how to do it. This is a tremendous hole in our national security system that needs to be closed, not opened by allowing illegal immigrants to obtain licenses as was recently proposed. Since 9/11, I believe that states have tightened up on this aspect, but I still receive Virginia licenses with regularity."
After writing a ticket to an illegal alien from Guatemala whom had no license, this officer said, "Guess what he is doing? Delivering papers. His job requires him to drive a car, yet he has no license. Unbelievable! But it gets better. I warned this same guy several weeks ago not to drive. I had been heading to a call and told him it was his lucky day because I did not have time to write him a ticket. I told him that if I saw him driving again, the next time I would tow his car. So after writing him over $400 worth of tickets, that is what I did."
This officer's shift was over at daybreak. He looked worn, tired and ready for a hot shower and meal. What would go through one's mind if they were serving their state and country with their lives on the line daily, but their own leaders wouldn't uphold our nation's laws? It begs the question across America concerning the rule-of-law. If our laws are routinely disobeyed by illegal aliens at the federal level and then, at the state level-and finally, at the local level with impunity-at what point does a nation move toward lawlessness as the norm? What is the definition of law? How long before it breaks down to the point whereby so many disregard it that a community can't function or functions in fear. With 10 to 13 million illegal aliens operating in the United States, an amnesty will draw millions more just as a green light means 'GO' in traffic. This officer will explore what it means on his night shift: Part II-The loss of law and order.
Frosty Wooldridge (<>, web site: (<> is a teacher and author who has bicycled 100,000 miles on six continents to see overpopulation up close and ugly.
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