DUI Hit-and-Run Suspect Previously Deported 15 Times
Drunk illegal alien strikes family returning from Disneyland, seriously injures six-year-old
An illegal immigrant accused of a hit-and-run while driving under the influence in San Diego, an incident over the weekend that left a six-year-old boy severely injured, had been deported from the U.S. 15 times since 2002, authorities told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday.
Mexican citizen Constantino Banda-Acosta, 38, reportedly slammed his pickup truck into a Honda Accord late Saturday evening while speeding and after running through a stop sign. Banda-Acosta failed to stop his vehicle and was arrested shortly after the collision, San Diego police and the U.S. Border Patrol told the Union-Tribune. His passenger also proved to be an illegal immigrant.
“The fact that someone could be deported 15 times is not only an outrage but shows a complete lack of empathy or concern for the thousands of innocent Americans who have been needlessly victimized.”
The six-year-old boy, Lennox Lake, was traveling home with his parents from a day trip to Disneyland. Banda-Acosta reportedly struck their vehicle when they were just one block away from their home. Lennox suffered an extensive head injury and has undergone two surgeries as of Tuesday night, the Union-Tribune reported.
“There are not enough words to describe the huge impact his actions have had,” Cheryl Lake, Lennox’s grandmother, told the Union-Tribune regarding the illegal immigrant’s conduct.
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), told LifeZette in an email that Lennox’s family “will never be the same” after this “horrifying” incident.
“Of course, right now all of their attention is on helping their little boy heal, but at some point they deserve answers from the government,” Vaughan said. “How did this egregious scofflaw keep getting in, and how is it that he always felt comfortable coming right back illegally? Did he ever face greater consequences for repeatedly entering the country illegally? Was he ever charged with felony re-entry after deportation?”
“How many more cases like this do Americans have to see before understanding why a greater degree of serious, routine immigration enforcement is imperative?” Vaughan added.
Banda-Acosta was first expelled from the U.S. in 2002, and his most recent deportation occurred on Jan. 9 of this year. He has been arrested on a myriad of occasions and has faced domestic violence allegations in connection with his wife. Banda-Acosta also was arrested three times for a suspended license and DUI flaps, 10News reported.
Should Banda-Acosta earn a conviction and sentencing in this case, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials will seek his 16th deportation and have issued a detainer against him.
“The fact that someone could be deported 15 times is not only an outrage but shows a complete lack of empathy or concern for the thousands of innocent Americans who have been needlessly victimized by those who shouldn’t have been in the country in the first place,” Dave Ray, communications director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), told LifeZette in an email.
Ray noted that this type of immigration abuse was rampant under former President Barack Obama’s more permissive administration that “completely eviscerated immigration enforcement in the U.S.” and enticed illegal immigrants “to enter the country with talk of lax immigration enforcement and an amnesty.”
“Unfortunately, those policies have caused a lot of human carnage on this side of the border, and innocent American families have suffered as a result,” Ray added. “A country that loses control of its borders, loses control of its destiny.”
Open borders activists insist Banda-Acosta’s immigration status has nothing to do with the nature of his crimes.
"Drunk driving is a nationwide problem that has affected the lives of far too many," Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, told the Union-Tribune in an email. "Using the pain and suffering of victims and their families to vilify a single community is irresponsible and unhelpful. We all need to work together, immigrants and citizens alike, in an atmosphere of trust in order to solve public safety issues."
But Vaughan insisted that she was not surprised "that people in the community are reacting with horror at the incident and frustration with their government."
"California's sanctuary policies protect immigration scofflaws like this offender every day. Yet California lawmakers keep passing measures that encourage illegal settlement," Vaughan said. "For example, a University of California poll showed that more than 70 percent of Californians are opposed to sanctuary policies, but that hasn't stopped the legislature from enacting them."
Now that President Donald Trump is in the White House and has begun cracking down on illegal immigration and border security, Ray anticipates that repeat offenders such as Banda-Acosta will no longer find themselves off the hook.
"President Trump heard the stories from the families who have suffered from eight years of open borders, and his administration is making great strides in regaining both control of our borders and ensuring the safety of our nation," Ray said.
In particular, the president used an executive order to install the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office to aid Americans, such as Lennox and his family, who have suffered at the hands of illegal immigrants.