Below is an example of much that’s wrong with US immigration policy. Ricardo Elvin Martinez of Guadalajara, Mexico, has been deported five times and has been convicted of 24 offenses, including robbery, but apparently has suffered no more severe punishment than five free trips home.
Why would anyone be surprised that he returned numerous times to the full refrigerator USA? It’s all gravy. Even the legal sanctions are rewards: a flight from Norfolk to Guadalajara is worth several hundred dollars, assuming he gets the full service deportation to his town. Some illegals get themselves arrested before the holidays in order to fly Uncle Sam, where the price is right for a flight home.
The element that’s missing is negative reinforcement — punishment! — the memory of unpleasantness that causes the disinclination to repeat offend. These days, even prison can be a cushy deal (possibly nicer than the guy’s home), like the recently opened deluxe alien detention center in Arizona that’s more like a hotel than a jail.
That won’t do. An unpleasant experience is required in jail to create the proper negative impression connected with entering America illegally.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County has the right idea with his famously non-luxurious jail accommodations with baloney sandwiches (shown below).
In Norfolk, man sent to prison after 5th deportation to Mexico, The Virginian-Pilot, May 23, 2011
An illegal immigrant with 24 convictions who has been thrown out of the country five times was sentenced Monday to 7½ years in prison following his latest conviction.
Ricardo Elvin Martinez, 47, of Guadalajara, Mexico, was caught here in September when a U.S. Customs officer found him sleeping in a shipping container on a cargo train that pulled into Norfolk International Terminals.
Martinez was sentenced in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty to illegally re-entering the country after he had been deported for having a felony conviction.
Martinez had been deported five times and was last removed in August 2009. His 24 convictions in five states include offenses for robbery, larceny and dealing cocaine. Four times he was caught near the Mexican border.
“Each time he turned right back around and unlawfully reentered the country, once within a matter of days,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a court filing. Prosecutors asked for a nine-year prison term.
“Seemingly, his only purpose here has been to violate our laws and terrorize our citizens,” the filing said.
Martinez’s attorney argued for leniency, citing his client’s physical and mental problems stemming from being shot in the back of the head six years ago. The bullet remains in his skull, the attorney said in a court filing.