DREAM Eligible: A Deadly Criminal Illegal Immigrant

Recently in Utah, a convicted criminal illegal immigrant was placed on probation (for burglary), put back on the street, and went on to a deadly hit-and-run accident:

Robledo’s parents asked that the victims write a letter to the court asking for leniency. David, who asked us not to identify him, says he did just that.

Then fast forward to this weekend, when police arrested that same teenager for allegedly hitting and killing 75-year-old Gerano Zargoza-Valencia. Police say after Rebledo hit the man he sped away then tucked his damaged 2001 BMW in the garage of his in-laws where he was living at the time.

What should have been avoided through a routine deportation has resulted in a much worse outcome. Utah, however, has also passed laws (one pending execution) providing benefits to illegal immigrants. The pending law (2011’s HB116) would give Mr. Robledo amnesty in Utah and provide him with a work permit. Meanwhile, 2002’s HB144 provides (tax subsidized) in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Let’s see how Robledo would fare:

Until his most recent crime, he would have qualified for amnesty and a work permit under HB116. His burglary was reduced to a misdemeanor (only a “serious felony” conviction is a disqualifier…other felony convictions are cool). Since he hasn’t been convicted of the deadly hit-and-run (assuming it will be a serious felony), he still qualifies for HB116 bennies.

Under HB144, he qualifies for in-state tuition regardless of what he is convicted of (criminal history is not a disqualifier). I would guess this time they’ll deport him but if he decides to re-enter illegally and go to a public Utah university, he’s golden. He still meets all the qualifications.

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