Thursday, October 25, 2007

"United States Is Stupid"

These precious words didn't come from bombastic Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or from rhetorically-and-otherwise wacky Venuezuelan President Hugo Chavez, nor did they spew from the mouth of faux-Native-American and hardcore leftist professor Ward Churchill; rather, they are the well-considered musings of Rolando Mota-Campos, a man who is actually in a good position to make such an assessment.

Rolando Mota-Campos, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, has racked up convictions for drunken driving, domestic assault and threatening to cut someone's head off with a machete.

Yet the 42-year-old scallop boat worker has slipped easily into the country after being deported three times.

He'll be deported again after serving a 14 1/2-year federal prison term imposed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, but he has already vowed to sneak back in.

"United States is stupid," Mota-Campos reportedly told an immigration agent after his latest arrest, court records say. "I come back every time."

Mota-Campos has skirted the law - and harsh jail terms - until now by using 16 different names and fake identification papers in the 19 years he has lived here on and off.

He claims to have killed someone in a drunken-driving accident in Mexico City and has a tattoo - a teardrop on his left cheek - that indicates ties to the Mexican mafia, according to the court records.

U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan Jr., citing Mota-Campos' "brazen lack of respect for the law and the citizens of the United States," more than doubled Mota-Campos' prison term. With a clean record, Mota-Campos would have faced a minimum of six years and two months in prison.

Court records filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office and defense lawyers detail a chronology of Mota-Campos' criminal past and border-hopping:

Mota-Campos first crossed the border illegally in Arizona in 1988. He made his way to Brooklyn, where arrests began piling up. He was arrested twice in 1993 on assault charges, and in 1995 he was charged with drunken driving and vehicular assault. Warrants for his arrest remain on all those charges.

The records don't indicate what brought him to Hampton Roads, but he was arrested in Hampton in 1992 on an abduction charge and in 1993 on a drunken-driving charge. After the 1993 arrest, he told an immigration agent about his DUI fatality conviction in Mexico City. His deportation case that year was dropped, according to an immigration spokeswoman in Washington. The court records do not explain why. After being convicted on the Peninsula of maiming and drunk in public in 1997, he was deported on Jan. 22, 1998. Six days later, he walked across the border in Texas and then returned to Newport News. That same year, he was charged with attempted robbery, but the case was dropped and immigration was never notified.

He was deported again in April 2003, but sneaked back into the country a short time later. He was arrested twice in Newport News that November for driving without a license and drunken driving, respectively.

In September 2004, he was charged again with drunken driving. In each of the three DUI convictions, Mota-Campos never received more than a 30-day jail term. Authorities said that was because he always used a different name.

The day after the September arrest, Mota-Campos was charged with beating his wife and son. His wife became so fearful of him that she moved her and her children into hiding. Then the following February, he was charged with threatening a social worker assigned to his case who refused to tell him where his wife was living.

He told the social worker that he carried a machete and that the social worker's " sweet little head can come right off. "

After his domestic violence conviction, Mota-Campos was again deported in May 2005. Less than a month later, he used a phony passport to return to the United States through Tijuana.

In August 2005, Mota-Campos was arrested in Newport News on a warrant for threatening the social worker. He was convicted and served a short jail term before being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

That led to the current federal indictment.

After considering Mr. Mota-Campos's record, can there be any doubt that the United States is, indeed, a very, very stupid country? Or, at least, a country run by a very, very stupid (or very traitorous) political class?