It was 11:30 pm on a Saturday night when a citizen of Mexico, an illegal immigrant who was previously deported fifteen times, shattered the lives of one American family.  Following a memorable trip to Disneyland, the Lake family, Ben, Ingrid and six-year-old Lennox were within one block of the safety of their home when their Honda Accord was broadsided by a Chevy Silverado, scattering vehicle parts and splintering the silence of a San Ysidro neighborhood.

The driver of the Silverado, Constantino Banda-Acosta, with a long history of criminal activity in Southern California, left the scene as the Lake’s, broken, bleeding and trapped, struggled to reach their critically injured son who had taken the brunt of the impact.

Apprehended, a mile from the accident by Border Patrol agents, and arrested for drunken driving, felony hit and run with injury, and driving without a license, Banda-Acosta appeared in court this past Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

And, why wouldn’t he plead not guilty?  It’s not that he has been held accountable in the past by the flawed U.S. immigration system:

Immigration officials say Banda-Acosta, 38, has been returned to Mexico at least 15 times since 2002 for being in the U.S. illegally, most recently in January. Lauren Mack, spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the agency would seek deportation for Banda-Acosta after any prison sentence is served.

Banda-Acosta’s past deportations could have occurred under a number of federal processes. They include a formal removal order issued by an immigration judge or an expedited removal order handled administratively by law enforcement officers.

Mack said she could not release specifics on Banda-Acosta’s deportations because of privacy rules.

Ms. Mack, please explain to the Lake family why this criminal should enjoy ‘privacy rules’?  You will find them at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, at their son’s bedside, praying for his recovery from two surgeries to repair his fractured skull.

One news outlet in San Diego, unafraid of ‘privacy laws’ did the legwork and culled together a shocking account of Banda-Acosta’s crime spree in America and subsequent deportations:

Yes, my liberal friends, this is what you are allowing into our neighborhoods and communities with unfettered access.  A man who repeatedly breaks our laws, wreaks havoc on Americans, and thumbs his nose at the American justice system that continues to protect him.   I completely understand why Mexico isn’t lobbying for his return.

San Diego immigration attorneys circled the wagons, apparently rattled by Banda-Acosta’s exposed free reign of terror:

Some immigration attorneys expressed surprise at the number of times Banda-Acosta was sent back to Mexico — although they pointed out it is not known whether those were formal deportations or voluntary returns.

Although entering the U.S. illegally is a crime, federal prosecutors typically prosecute border crossers in those cases where the person has a criminal record, they said.

Hello, anyone home in San Diego?  If local news crews can uncover crimes and deportations in an hour, why can’t immigration officials, and immigration advocates do the same investigation?  Oh, that’s right, they can—but they won’t.

One immigration attorney, Lila Velasquez, remarked, “I’ve never heard of a case, and I’ve been practicing for 35 years, where a person has come in 15 times, but then again they don’t come to me because there’s nothing I can do for them.”  And then cleverly pointed the finger at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as the responsible party, saying they tend to “focus on hard-core criminals and not just illegal entrants.”

A-hem, Banda-Acosta wears that hardcore mantle with pride. And this tragic accident would have never happened had local immigration officials had just done their job:

Because of the Banda-Acosta’s immigration history, the boy and his family will be eligible for help from the new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, or VOICE, office created by President Donald Trump in an executive order. The position aids victims of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants.

It is distressing that this country needs a federal program to render support and aid to the casualties of crimes that would not have happened if immigration laws were enforced.  And with the Lake family, it is evident that this office is long overdue.

Innocent, little Lennox Lake is not the first victim and sadly will not be the last, as America’s lawmakers have defied the laws their predecessors created to secure our citizens and protect our borders.  In their misguided, and often criminal, quest to retain power, they curry favor with legal and illegal immigrant populations and avoid Madison Avenue labels cultivated and utilized by our elite leftist mouthpieces (You know them — racist, white supremacist, and more).

We face an epic battle to save our beloved Republic from the path to socialism that She has befallen and artfully steered toward these past eight years, away from democracy and the constitutional rights we hold dear.    And make no mistake, the lines are being drawn in cities, towns, and communities across this great nation.  But until the current rumblings erupt into a declaration of war, let us all come together and say a prayer for a brave little boy and his family, who have found themselves in the toughest fight of their lives.

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Sarah Cowgill

National Columnist at

Sarah has been a writer in the political and corporate worlds for over 25 years. As a sought-after speech writer, her clients included CEO's, U.S. Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and even a Vice President. She’s worked as Contributing Editor at Scottsdale Life, a news reporter for the Journal and Courier, and guest opinion political writer for numerous publications nationwide. A born storyteller, Sarah has published a full-length book and is currently finishing a quirky, sarcastic, second novel.

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