Houston Cop-Shooting Galvanizes Opponents of Illegal Immigration


In the 20 months since Juan L. Quintero killed Houston police officer Rodney Johnson, the case has become a signature battle cry locally against illegal immigration, reports the city’s Chronicle. Quintero, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, has been called many things in chat rooms and on message boards, but “illegal” surfaces as frequently as “cop killer.” For some, Quintero embodies a failing U.S. immigration system. One reader commented on the life sentence Quintero received on Tuesday: “Sorry America. Illegal immigrants win again.” Another reader posted: “Our taxes are paying for this illegal immigrant to rot in jail?”

The shooting came as Houston police were pressured to become more involved in immigration enforcement, a move top officials had resisted amid concern over alienating potential victims and witnesses in immigrant communities. For some, the Quintero case seemed to illustrate central arguments for stricter immigration control. The Mexican landscaper was deported after pleading guilty to indecency with a child in 1999, and returned to Houston to live with his wife. Sandra Guerra Thompson, a University of Houston law professor, said, “I think the case probably helped tip the balance in favor of getting involved in immigration enforcement.”

Link: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5793341.html

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