Illegal Immigrants Committing Crimes Not Always Deported

Illegal immigrants committing crimes not always deported

By Mike Beaudet
FOX News Boston, July 29, 2010

There's wide agreement that illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes should be deported.

In May, a state lawmaker in his car was hit by an illegal immigrant who was charged with drunk driving. The illegal immigrant taunted state police, saying he'd go back to his home country of Mexico and that nothing would happen to him.

FOX Undercover discovered in some cases, little does happen to illegal immigrants who commit crimes here in Massachusetts.

Pascual Bernabel-Soto likes Massachusetts so much he was willing to come here. Even after he was deported.

In fact, Bernabel-Soto then racked up an impressive criminal record of alleged drug dealing, not showing up for court and identity fraud charges – all after his 1998 deportation.

His most recent case was in Weymouth last year when police arrested him for dealing drugs out of a minivan. Despite giving police a false name, a Weymouth detective was able to identify Bernabel-Soto and noted his long criminal record in an application for a criminal complaint.

It includes a previous arrest in Weymouth in 2007 on similar charges and 'numerous other narcotics violations'
The detective noted that Bernabel-Soto had 'at least ten different aliases,' 'multiple licenses and identification cards,' and faced an attempted murder charge in Puerto Rico.

Its unclear how he managed stay in this country and continue committing crimes.

Jessica Vaughan is with the Center for Immigration Studies and an expert on immigrants and the criminal justice system who says a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling already allows police all over the country to ask someone about their immigration status.

There are too many police departments in Massachusetts that are not training their officers on the tools that are available to them and on how they can and should be questioning foreign nationals that they've arrested about their immigration status, Vaughan said.

The federal government is rolling out new technology that makes it easier for local police departments to see if someone they've arrested is deportable.

As for Bernabel-Soto, the federal government says it deported him again earlier this year – the third time he's been removed.