Julie Smith, 41, her 5-year-old daughter Scarlett, 12-year-old son Jaxon, and their grandmother, Josephine Fay, are the latest victims of someone who should never have been allowed to remain in the country. But the destruction of this American family in Florida will not serve as an impetus for action on immigration enforcement and illegal alien reckless drivers the same way the impending Supreme Court decision on DACA will spawn a clamor for amnesty.
Lucas Dos Reis Laurindo, 26, is now charged with careless driving for a crash just south of Orlando that killed four members of the Smith family three weeks ago while they were vacationing in Disney World. According to Florida Highway Patrol, Laurindo rear-ended the Smiths’ minivan at a high speed on the evening of February 18, causing the van to turn over. Three members of the Massachusetts family were killed instantly, and 12-year-old Jaxon died the next day in the hospital.
The charge has not yet resulted in a criminal arrest, just a ticket. However, according to local media in Massachusetts, Laurindo was arrested by federal authorities on a “visa violation.”
When I inquired with ICE about his status, I was referred to Customs and Border Protection because he was apprehended by border agents in Florida. He is being held under federal custody at Glades County ICE facility. According to WFTV, Laurindo is a Brazilian national who was apprehended on February 21 when he attempted to board a flight to Brazil.
Josephine’s husband Bill, Julie’s husband Shane, and their daughters Shalie and Skylar, all survived the crash. Now they are left without their spouses and siblings. A GoFundMe page has been set up by family members for the survivors.
While the fact that this man was here illegally doesn’t make the actual deaths more or less painful or grievous, it does make them more avoidable. Because of a lack of enforcement of all the laws passed by Congress in recent decades, illegal aliens have little to worry about if they overstay their visas and remain here illegally.
The single biggest magnet in this country is the ability of illegal aliens to work, over 30 years after Congress made it illegal for them to work in exchange for amnesty. How many people have to die before Congress finally fulfills its promise? Meanwhile, the Trump administration has backed away from E-Verify, and Republicans in the Florida legislature are watering down Governor Ron DeSantis’ plan to mandate E-Verify.
Last November, I reported on another Floridian, James Zakos, killed by an illegal alien who should never have been working in the state. Ulises Mondragon Umanzor was charged with killing an American motorist while driving a forklift and running a stop sign. Had E-Verify been in place, Zakos would still be alive, because this repeat offender would never have been able to get a construction job.
It’s truly hard to overstate the scope of the public safety threat posed by illegal alien reckless or drunk drivers. When ICE tells us that in fiscal year 2019 alone, there were 2,500 homicide charges or convictions among those subject to detainers, it doesn’t even include many of these vehicular manslaughters. As is the case with Laurindo, they are often not charged with manslaughter, just some form of reckless driving. There were 74,523 DUI charges and convictions, as well as 68,236 other “driving offenses” among those arrested by ICE last year.
I’ve been told by ICE officials that these driving offenses are usually serious, not just run-of-the-mill speeding tickets. It’s hard to imagine how many people are needlessly killed by illegal alien drivers who aren’t even included in the homicide tally by ICE. This is especially true because ICE doesn’t have access to the vast majority of those committing these offenses, given that most illegal aliens live in sanctuary jurisdictions.
But 5-year-old Scarlett and her American family are not the focus of Congress. There is no effort to ensure that visa overstays are deterred and removed. There is no effort to deal with criminal aliens or the cartels at the border. There is no desire to clamp down on sanctuary cities beyond what Trump is doing administratively. Isn’t it time for an American DACA?