Drunk-Driving Illegal Alien Mexican Kills Texas Nursing Student

By Brenda Walker
Volume 24, Number 1 (Fall 2013)
Issue theme: "Stolen lives"

When the backstories about American victims of illegal alien criminals are investigated, one learns many were preventable crimes; in numerous instances, the foreign perpetrator had earlier been arrested or convicted of offenses, but was not deported. Dangerous people get to stay, and innocent citizens face unnecessary risks because of government irresponsibility.

The list of such crimes is long, but one that showed the extent of authorities’ extreme disregard of public safety was the serial drunk driving of Gustavo Reyes Garcia, who had been arrested 14 times (or maybe 17) in Nashville without being sent by local police for deportation. He ended up killing Tennesseans Sean and Donna Wilson in a 2006 drunk-driving crash, which was entirely preventable had government done its primary task of protecting the people.

Families are scarred forever when a loved one is taken in a violent crime, and particularly so when the perp is a foreigner who shouldn’t have been here. There’s a hole that doesn’t go away, plus the sense of betrayal that Washington has let down the American people who are the backbone of the society.

A crime from September 2012 followed the same pattern: a previously arrested (but not deported) drunk-driving illegal alien took the life of a young American. Had the government repatriated Osvaldo Cerda after his three marijuana arrests, he wouldn’t have been here to kill Heather VanHoozer, a 24-year-old nursing student from Garland, Texas.

Like many average citizens faced with a preventable death at the hands of an unlawful foreigner, Heather’s parents Alan and Debra were shocked that their government did so little to protect their family. They couldn’t understand how Cerda could have been arrested several times without being deported.

“That needs to be changed,” Debra said.

Heather VanHoozer was a passenger in a car driven by her boyfriend as they drove to a grocery store when they were struck sideways by an SUV driven by Cerda.

The Mexican national had a blood-alcohol level of .182, more than double the legal limit of .08. According to the prosecutor, Cerda got out of his SUV, took a last swig of beer and tossed the can, then fled. A witness chased after Cerda until the police could take charge and make the arrest.

The case was tried in a one-day judge trial because Cerda waived a jury. He pleaded guilty and got the maximum sentence of 20 years.

A dozen of Cerda’s relatives attended the trial, including the mother who offered a lame semi-apology: “I know the hole you have in your heart because I’ve lived it. I lost my husband 15 years ago. And now I’m reliving it by losing my son to this sentence.”

(Do Texas courthouses not require identification for entry even in these dangerous days? It’s hard to imagine that a dozen relatives of a criminal illegal alien all have proper documents.)

The VanHoozer family was satisfied with the outcome, given the limits of the law. After the trial, Debra reflected, “No sentence will ever be enough for killing my daughter. But I’m glad we got the max.”

Such light sentences are supposed to pass for justice in the new globalized America, where foreign lawbreakers are treated fair and square as if they were honest citizens. Any crimes committed by illegal aliens should have extra years of prison added because of their status. Instead, we hear that Cerda will “likely” be deported after completing his sentence. That’s not good enough.

And the continued endangerment of Americans by the preventable crimes of illegal aliens who have not been deported isn’t good enough either.

Worse still, Obama and cronies have done a good job of hiding provisions in the Senate amnesty bill that permit foreign criminals to remain in the country. Americans don’t want more crime, but the President and Democrats do, for whatever reason.

About the author

Brenda Walker is publisher of the websites LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. A resident of the San Francisco Bay area, she is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract.