This story comes from the Washington Times.
Angel Gilberto Garcia-Avalos had been deported five times in just the past four years, yet each time he has managed to sneak from Mexicoback into the U.S., where he ended up in more mischief: driving without a license, attempted burglary and felony weapons charges.
In August, he graduated to full-fledged mayhem, sparking a fire in the Sequoia National Forest that has already cost the government $61 million and left some of the country’s most beautiful landscape scarred for years to come.
Garcia, who pleaded guilty last month and faces 13 months in prison, had only recently been released from the Kern County Jail. He likely would have been deported again, but local authorities were unable to report him to immigration authorities because of California’s new sanctuary city law, which prohibited the sheriff from communicating with federal agents.
Federal agents now say they will kick Garcia out of the country once he serves his latest sentence, but the damage has already been done.
[…]Of the 29,000 acres that were touched by fire, more than half sustained moderate or high-intensity burns. Communities were evacuated in two counties, and a handful of cabins and outbuildings were scorched.
It took six weeks to fully contain the fire. Officials warned at the beginning of October that hot spots could persist until the first snows blanket the area and snuff out the last vestiges.
[…][I]t took more than $60 million to contain and extinguish the blaze. Mr. Chatel submitted an emergency restoration plan at a cost of $500,000. That doesn’t include long-term restoration of campsites, cattle-grazing areas and long-term revegetation.
[…]Garcia has admitted to his role in the fire but shows little remorse.
Now, I have a friend who is an evangelical Christian ex-Democrat, now moderate Republican, and he is a strong backer of amnesty for illegal immigrants, and bringing in more Muslim refugees. And the first question he asks me when I send him illegal immigrant crime / refugee Islamic terrorism news stories is this: “how do we know that illegal immigrants / refugees are more likely to commit crimes or terrorism than natural born Americans and skilled legal immigrants?”
Good question, here’s the answer from the article:
Fires sparked by illegal immigrants are more common — and more controversial — along the border.
[…]GAO [Government Accountability Office] investigators reviewed 77 human-caused fires along the Arizona border and concluded that 30 of them were caused by illegal border crossers.
Worse yet, the presence of the illegal immigrants made fighting the fires even tougher. One investigator told The Washington Times that armed agents had to accompany firefighters.
In California, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said the problems go beyond fire. He said marijuana grows are becoming more frequent on federal lands. When they are raided, the grows are usually found to be manned by illegal immigrants — some of them forced into the labor. State and local law enforcement have become engaged in shootouts at the grows.
“They’re destroying the landscape of our national forest,” the sheriff told The Washington Times.
Democrats are responsible for passing the laws that make it easy for illegal immigrants to continue to re-enter the United States:
Garcia has a long criminal record that includes auto theft, burglary and firearms charges. Nabbed last year after failing to appear in court to face felony charges, he was sentenced to more than a year in jail and was released for good behavior after serving 194 days.
In the past, Kern County would have reported him to federal immigration agents and his criminal record and repeated deportations would have made him a priority case. But California’s Trust Act, signed into law last year by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, put an end to that cooperation.
“We didn’t hold him because he did not meet the Trust Act,” Sheriff Youngblood said.
I think this story is interesting, because the people who are in favor of illegal immigration also tend to be environmentalists. So it’s kind of a funny situation where their support for open borders is actually having a negative impact on the environment. The far left Washington Post says that forest fires make global warming even worse. And the California Democrats who claim to love nature are the ones who voted for this “Trust Act”. They caused the forest fire because of their “compassion”.
Now, I’m no global warming alarmist, but I am very supportive of conservation and nature preserves. I like trees and animals, and I think we should be careful so that we don’t harm them. I’m all for skilled immigration, but also for protecting and conserving nature. But the people on the left have a dilemma – illegal immigration, or protecting nature?