A recent criminal case in California highlights the human costs of looking the other way when illegal aliens are apprehended and then turned loose rather than being placed on deportation proceedings.

Marcos Lopez Garcia, an illegal alien, pled guilty to manslaughter in a hit-and-run case that killed a 4-year-old in Santa Rosa, California, in August 2011. He now faces a 5½ year sentence. Lopez had two prior arrests for driving without a license and without insurance, most recently in June 2010. At that time he was given a one-year conditional sentence. (See Sacramento Bee, May 14, 2012, and KSRO News, May 11, 2012)

The news accounts do not explain why Lopez was not reported to the immigration authorities, although the likely explanation is misguided sanctuary policies. But, even if he had been turned over to the authorities, under the current prioritization policy of the administration, Lopez would not have been a priority case, and likely would not have been taken into custody by ICE.