On August 19, Logan and Jessica Wilson were riding their motorcycle together near Salem, Oregon, when they were hit by a truck towing a horse trailer, allegedly driven by illegal alien Eduardo de la Lima Vargas. The motorcycle spun under the truck and caught fire, and the 34-year-old husband and 32-year-old wife, parents of three young children, died shortly thereafter at a nearby hospital. Their deaths once again highlight how sanctuary policies protect criminal aliens and endanger the public.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokeswoman Lori Haley confirmed in an official statement that “Mr. De la Lima Vargas is a citizen of Mexico illegally residing in the United States”, so the agency quickly lodged an immigration detainer for him with the Marion County Jail. Prosecutors also informed Marion County Judge David Leith that Vargas had a prior DUI arrest for which he’d been allowed to do a diversion program and have the charge dismissed.
Despite Vargas being a danger to the public and an obvious flight risk, the detainer wasn’t honored. Vargas was granted $500,000 bail, and on September 5, after posting only a 10 percent security, he was released. Instead of being able to pick Vargas up on the detainer in the secure environment of the jail, ICE was forced to potentially endanger public safety and arrest him in the community.
Vargas was released back into the community because of Oregon’s first-in-the-nation sanctuary law. His release back into the community not only endangered the public but also federal officials. According to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report, of the 146,500 criminal aliens that completed their terms in federal prison, about 24,800 (one out of six) have been re-incarcerated. Moreover, immigration enforcement officers arresting him faced the possibility of Vargas being armed, or a number of other dangerous scenarios.
Simply put, if Eduardo de la Lima Vargas hadn’t been in this country illegally or if he’d been deported when he picked up his first DUI, Jessica and Logan Wilson would almost certainly be alive today.
As things stand right now, Oregon law perversely protects illegal aliens like Vargas a lot more than it does American citizens like the Wilsons, let alone their children now permanently separated from their parents. At least Oregonians will have a chance in November to vote on Measure 105 and possibly become the first state in the nation to repeal its sanctuary law.