Department of Homeland Security photo

In a bit of bad public relations timing for the brave men and women of the Border Patrol and ICE, members of both agencies were charged with some awful crimes this weekend, which just proves how swiftly our system of justice weeds out bad apples in law enforcement, although it sort of avoids the question of why we keep finding so many rotten people in positions of authority in the first place.

In Laredo, Texas, on Saturday, Border Patrol agent Juan David Ortiz was arrested and charged with the murders of four women in the past two weeks after a fifth woman he'd kidnapped escaped and called regular police. Isidro Alaniz, the district attorney for Webb and Zapata counties, said Ortiz had picked up the fifth woman, who "went with him willingly," then

"while she was with him things started to get dangerous for her and when she tried to escape from him at a gas station that's when she ran into a trooper," Alaniz said. "In our opinion he is the sole person responsible for this horrific serial killing spree."

Two of the women Ortiz is accused of killing were US citizens; the nationalities of two others are still unknown. One of the victims was a trans woman. All, like the woman who escaped Saturday, were sex workers. Ortiz, an intelligence supervisor with CBP, apparently picked up all the victims using his private vehicle while not in uniform, for whatever difference that makes.

A court document given to the Texas Tribune by the DA's office explains how the woman escaped:

[The woman] approached a state trooper after she said Ortiz pointed a gun at her when she tried to escape from his vehicle, according to the documents. "[She] stated David began to act weird when she began to speak about Melissa, a female she knew who had been discovered dead the week before," according to a criminal complaint. Later, the two stopped at a gas station and Pena struggled to get free, the complaint says.

"David grabbed her shirt to prevent her from exiting the vehicle. [She] began to scream for help. [She] pulled off her shirt allowing her to escape and run away from the vehicle," the complaint states.

The complaint lists two other victims as Melissa Ramirez, killed September 3, and Claudine Ann Luera, kileed September 13; both were shot "multiple times" in the head; the two last victims are unidentified and both were killed on September 15 with a single gunshot to the head.

Alaniz said, "There's nothing that suggested that [Ortiz'] did this under the cover of authority or the law."

Law enforcement plans to charge Ortiz with aggravated kidnapping and murder, Alaniz said, adding that his office will pursue four first-degree murder indictments against Ortiz.

So don't worry about Border Patrol guys in uniform, they probably aren't serial killers, if that makes you feel better.

Meanwhile, in Jackson County, Oregon, a deportation officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Blake Northway, was arrested and charged with 10 counts of sodomy and one count of incest, following a joint investigation by ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility and Oregon state police. The Oregonian reports Northway was "accused of sexually abusing an underage female relative between 2009 and 2013."

Once again, you can be relieved to know the crime was not related to the guy's work in the machinery of immigration -- in fact, we shouldn't even mention it at all lest Donald Trump hop on Twitter and remind us the crime happened during Barack Obama's presidency, and Northway was actually arrested during the Trump administration, so there are NO PROBLEMS here. In fact YOU'RE the problem, trying to erode the good name of these upstanding defenders of America:

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds its officers to the highest standards of professional conduct and does not tolerate those who violate the law," ICE spokeswoman Tanya Roman said in a statement. "ICE will continue to cooperate until this case has been resolved."

Fortunately, these are just two bad apples in a pair of agencies renowned for their high ethical standards and their absolute devotion to enforcing the law, as we learned from this inspiring tale of ICE agents doing exactly what they're supposed to under the Trump administration: In Detroit, ICE last week told a 48-year-old man who is deaf and has severe intellectual disabilities that he would be deported to Nigeria for being an immigration criminal. Francis Anwana has lived in the USA since he was sent here at the age of 13 by his mother, who couldn't care for him.

He went to the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint, then later, as an adult, he was shuttled between a number of adult group homes in Detroit -- and in the process, his caretakers failed to update his visa, which lapsed, and now he is the worst scum in the world, an ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT. Advocates have tried to get him citizenship or permanent residency, but his applications were denied. So now, naturally enough, he has to face JUSTICE for violating immigration laws he doesn't comprehend.

[In] a shock to immigrant advocates, the U.S. now wants to deport Anwana to Nigeria, a country he has not lived since he was a teenager. Given his severe disabilities, it would be a virtual "death sentence" for him, said Susan Reed, an attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.

Because of his disability, Anwana can only read at a second-grade level and is unable to mentally grasp the fact he could be forced to go back to Nigeria, according to advocates and his lawyer.

Worth noting: Because he's deaf, Anwana communicates only using American Sign Language, which needless to say is quite rare in Nigeria. That, and his need for help with medication, AND the fact that he has no close family left in Nigeria (or the US) all mean he'd be in danger of dying if he were deported.

On Twitter somewhere, someone is undoubtedly saying the law is the law is the law, and if we don't follow the law, we don't have a country anymore, and it's certainly not our responsibility to help everyone with a sad story. Then they'll get back to posting about how Jesus chose Donald Trump to make America great again.

ICE did at least relent from its initial plan to deport Anwana on September 11; a spokesperson for the agency said only that "This removal is not imminent at this time," which is awfully reassuring.

Anwana does at least have friends, attorneys and immigration advocates working to help him, along with one potentially influential helper: US Rep Dan Kildee, who represents Flint in Congress. Kildee has introduced a "private bill" that would grant Anwana permanent legal residency -- a green card -- if it can pass through Congress. That's a rather big if, but it has happened -- in about six percent of the 1,900 private immigration bills brought between 1983 and 2017. In the past, ICE has held off deporting immigrants who are the subjects of pending private bills, though in the past, ICE has simply behaved like a pack of hyenas that didn't have rabies.

Update: How the hell did we miss this? The Ortiz case is actually the SECOND set of murders by a Border Patrol dude in Laredo this year. In April, CBP supervisor Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles was charged with murdering a woman he was involved with -- and her 1-year-old child -- and then calling 911 to claim he'd found their bodies in a park. We bet he was not on duty when that happened, either. Again, no cause for alarm -- the Border Patrol has a letter signed by many people the Border Patrol did not kill.

[Texas Tribune / CNN / Oregonian / Detroit Free Press / Michigan Radio / San Diego Union-Tribune / Update: NYP]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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