Illegal Aliens: Turning Our Roads into Killing Fields

By Davd Gibson
Volume 23, Number 1 (Fall 2012)
Issue theme: "Victims of Immigration"

February 4, 2012, police in Columbus, Georgia, arrested Anthony Alvarado, 26, after he allegedly ran over his 18-month-old daughter in his driveway.

Alvarado has been charged with serious injury by vehicle, reckless conduct, no state driver’s license, no state tag, and no proof of insurance.

The little girl was taken to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Atlanta with life-threatening injuries.

According to police, Alvarado admitted to being in the country illegally.

Of course, this case is not unusual. Every week, there are reports from all over the country of illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico, maiming and killing people in automobile accidents.

While many of the cases involve drunk driving, a great number of them were seemingly caused by simple incompetence or a lack of driving ability.


An examination of Mexico’s driving laws may hold the answer.

As for DUI laws, only 17 of Mexico’s 32 states have legal driving limits for a driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

Those states are: Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Distrito Federal, Estado de Mexico, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, and Vera Cruz — .04; Chihuahua — .05; Guanajato, Morelos, Nuevo León, Oazaca, Quintana Roo, and Sonora — .08; and Colima .08 — .10. (Source: LimitsWorldwide)

According to the United Nations’ Pan American Health Organization, a total of 200,000 people drove under the influence of alcohol on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in Mexico City, in 2008 alone.

As to simple proficiency among Mexican drivers, the testing (or lack thereof) may provide the rather frightening answer.

In six Mexican states as well as in Mexico City, issuing agencies do not administer any sort of test before handing out driver’s licenses. In these locations, one need only pay a fee to obtain a license (about $45 in Mexico City).

Three other states require the applicant to sit through a class, after which all attendees are issued licenses, while many other states give tests consisting of rather easy multiple choice questions.

And what happens when a driver is pulled over in Mexico, say, for speeding?

The Mexican travel website gives the following advice:

“Speeding is, as a rule, easily taken care of by offering to pay the fine on the spot. If you cannot pay on the spot, one of three things will occur:

The officer will accept less money.

The officer will accompany you to an ATM while waiting around the corner.

The officer will take your driver’s license and you’ll receive a ticket. You will need to pay the fine to retrieve your driver’s license.

Sometimes the officer will simply let you off with a warning if you have a good attitude.

You will NOT be arrested.”

What is the result of such lax policies?

In October 2011, The Economist announced that 24,000 fatalities occur on Mexico’s roads annually, while another 600,000 people are injured.

According to the World Health Organization, pedestrians account for 21 percent of Mexico’s road fatalities.

Such was the case in June 2008, when Mackenzie Maddox, 6, was hit and killed while crossing the street in a suburb of Milwaukee. The man behind the wheel was previously deported Mexican national Jose Rodriguez.

As little Mackenzie and her mother crossed the street at S. 84th St. and W. Cleveland Ave. in West Allis, Wisconsin, the car driven by Rodriguez came speeding through the intersection, striking both the little girl and her mother Andrea. Mackenzie died at the scene and her mother sustained serious injuries but survived.

Rodriguez, who had four prior driving convictions including a DUI, had been deported back to Mexico only four months prior to the fatal accident.

The lack of standardized testing, the absence of drunk-driving laws, and corruption all add up to make Mexico’s roads, perhaps the most dangerous in the world. Of course, as Mexican nationals make their way to the U.S., it is safe to assume that they bring their country’s driving experience to this country.

What follows are a few of the more egregious examples of how an unprotected border with Mexico has turned our roads into a no-man’s zone:

In February 2008, four children were killed in Cottonwood, Minnesota, after their bus was hit by an illegal alien who ran a stop sign.

On a gloomy Tuesday morning, Mexican national Alianiss Nunez Morales went sailing past a stop sign on County Road 24, and right into a school bus carrying 28 Lakeview School students.

The bus flipped over on its side, injuring several children and killing four.

The children who were killed in the crash were: Emilee Olson, 9; Hunter Javens, 9; Jesse Javens, 13; and Reed Stevens, 12.

Four other children were hospitalized at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Another child was transported to the Mayo Clinic.

Morales was arrested and charged with four counts of vehicular homicide as well as several misdemeanors. Apparently, she was not even licensed to drive in Mexico.

Lt. Mark Peterson of the Minnesota State Patrol told reporters: “She (Morales) doesn’t have a driver’s license anywhere that we’re aware of.”

Of course, that was not Morales’ first brush with the law. In 2006 she pleaded guilty in a Chippewa County court to driving without a license.

Morales told police that she was on her way to work when she caused the fatal wreck. Despite her illegal status, she was employed by Norcraft Cabinetry in Eagan, Minnesota.

The company’s website ( displays a section entitled “Code of Business Ethics and Conduct.” Within that section, the following statement is made: “All employees must respect and obey the laws of the cities, states, and countries in which we operate.”

That statement seems more than a bit hypocritical coming from a company which hires illegal aliens!

‘I’ll never forget her laugh’

On March 30, 2007, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Allison Kuhnhardt, 17, and Tessa Tranchant, 16, while waiting at a red light, were killed by Alfredo Ramos, 22, who was drunk and traveling at a high rate of speed.

The Mexican national had nearly a .24 blood-alcohol level and could barely see the police officers in front of him. The two high school students had to be cut from their crumpled car, and both later died after being taken to the hospital. Ramos suffered only a busted lip.

Ramos had been living in Virginia Beach for quite a while and worked at a local Mexican restaurant known as Mi Casita. Ramos had been previously convicted of three separate charges of public intoxication, identity theft, and even a DUI, but continued to live in the area. He speaks only Spanish and required an interpreter at all of his court proceedings.

When he was arrested, he was carrying a fake driver’s license and a Mexican ID card he purchased from a company in Florida.

While Ramos had already been convicted of a DUI, Virginia Beach policy dictated that an illegal alien be convicted of three DUIs before police would report them to federal immigration authorities. Virginia Beach police have since taken a more active role in determining the citizenship of those they arrest.

Since that needless tragedy, I have come to know Tessa’s parents, and am proud to call both Ray and Collette Tranchant my friends. Never does a Mother’s or Father’s Day pass that my my heart does not ache for those two. Their strength and grace throughout the loss of their beautiful daughter is an inspiration to all who know them.

In 2010, Ray, who has since become an activist, contacted me with an open letter on his daughter’s tragic death and the ongoing travesty that is our current immigration system.

An excerpt from that letter follows:

My 16-year-old daughter, Tessa, was killed by an illegal immigrant in Virginia Beach three years ago while sitting at a stop light. Her friend Ali Kunhardt, 17, also perished instantly.

Beautiful girls with tons of future plans, they had just stopped at a convenience store for a pack of gum at 10 on a Friday night. I can imagine that they were giggling about something as they waited for the red light to turn green. Tessa was in the passenger seat. I’ll never forget her laugh.

The explosion was so loud that witnesses said it sounded like a bomb going off, hit from behind by a black Mitsubishi going more than 70 mph. They were tiny, skinny little girls stuffed somewhere in the floorboards when the police and EMT crew arrived.

When I got to the hospital in what seemed like a dream sequence, Tessa’s bed was lying next to Ali’s, separated by a privacy curtain. Both girls were perfectly still, skin cold to the touch.

Tess was covered with a hospital blanket, and her clothes lay in a bag by her bedside, cut off by the EMT and the ER doctor who tried to revive her, to no avail. I looked at her large brown eyes, pupils dilated, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. She still had a mask taped to her mouth with a long rubber tube. The center of the tube was filled with bright red blood. Amazingly, she had only a little bruise on her forehead, and her big toe was bleeding. I noticed that she had had a couple of her nails done with glitter, probably had just enough money to do two. She worked at the Golden Corral; Ali worked at The Fresh Market.

I hadn’t seen Tessa in a few days, and I had to laugh at her forearm. Hard to believe you can laugh with such horror around you, but I did. She had previously told me that she suffered from the ‘Tranchant curse’ — dark hair on her skinny little perfect arms — and apparently she had shaved it all off (her way of getting even, I guess).

Alfredo Ramos, a previous DUI offender and alcoholic, seemed invisible in a system that was good at looking the other way. Virginia Beach and Chesapeake were being accused of the term ‘sanctuary city’ as Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera screamed at each other during the national news hour. O’Reilly was right. Yesterday, the Director of Homeland Security said she would get to the bottom of why the illegals are not deported when they are repeat offenders.

Ms. Napolitano, where was ICE in 2007 when these girls died? I know what sanctuary means more than most ever will.”

Unfortunately, Tessa’s and Ali’s story is one which is becoming all too familiar in this country. 

The next time someone tries to tell you that illegal immigration is a ‘victimless crime,’ you can remind them of these two girls, whose lives were ended before they really began.

In addition to having no respect for our laws, a basic lack of respect for human life seems to be a constant theme among many illegal aliens, those who hire them, and the politicians who allow them to stay here.

In 2006, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) released the findings of a study which determined that 4,745 Americans are killed annually by drunk-driving illegal aliens. Most consider that to be a very conservative estimate. Currently, there are no official government statistics on the number of fatal accidents caused by illegal aliens.

How many more of our children will have to be killed so that greedy businesses can reap a higher profit through the use of cheap labor?

Until our current immigration laws become strictly enforced…may the memories of these slain children haunt the dreams of our spineless officials.


About the author

Dave Gibson, a former legislative aide to a Virginia state senator, is a freelance writer. His work has been published in many newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Times.