More than four years after his son was brutally murdered by an illegal alien, Jamiel Shaw Sr. has watched as his home state of California has become more, not less, friendly to illegal aliens. With AB 1081 on the cusp of becoming law, Shaw is speaking out and warning people that if it becomes law more families will experience the same tragedy his family has endured.
“It’s the exact same problem that happened with my son,” said Shaw Sr. in an interview with Front Page Magazine. AB 1081 will effectively end cooperation between the State of California and Immigration and Customs Enforcement on ICE detainers.
ICE detainers are holds, up to two business days, that ICE places on municipal prisoners that ICE wants in their custody. Suspected illegal aliens who would otherwise be released, be it because they made bail or because their prison sentences ended, are instead held for up to two more business days with these detainers so that ICE officials can come and get them.
The controversy in mostly far-left precincts started when the Secure Communities program, first introduced under President George Bush, saw enormous growth under President Barack Obama. Secure Communities gives ICE finger-tip access to all sorts of personal data for any municipal prisoner in the Secure Communities network. Currently about eighty percent of all counties have signed up for Secure Communities.
Once a suspected illegal alien is identified by ICE, the normal procedure is to put an ICE detainer on that individual. In so doing, the municipal prison would hold that prisoner rather than releasing them at the end of their prison sentence.
Far-left groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) cried foul. They claimed that Secure Communities was being used to target suspected illegal aliens who committed minor traffic violations like speeding.
In response, a growing number of liberal municipalities and states passed laws ending, or at least significantly curbing, their cooperation with ICE detainers. Governor Cuomo of New York signed an executive order ending cooperation between his state and ICE on detainers. The results there were deadly. Luis Rodriguez-Flamenco, 24, an illegal alien, killed a woman outside a Wal-Mart in Albion, New York after he was released from prison because an ICE detainer was ignored.
The legislature in Cook County, which includes Chicago, passed a similar ordinance in September 2011 with comparable results. In November, Saul Chavez was released from prison and promptly missed his next court date. He’s now considered a fugitive, believed to be back in his native Mexico. In June, he viciously and violently killed a pedestrian, Denny McCann, while driving drunk as McCann attempted to cross the street. Chavez took a breathalyzer that evening and registered a .27, almost three times the legal limit. McCann, 68 at the time of his death, was dragged about two hundred feet before dying. Chavez was released because an ICE detainer was ignored as a result of the Cook County ordinance.
For Shaw Sr., these stories are all too familiar. His son Jamiel Shaw Jr. seemed to have the world at his feet in 2008. Only a Junior in high school, Shaw Jr. was the star running back, corner back, and kick and punt returner on his football team. He was already being recruited by schools like Stanford and Rutgers.
“He was disciplined, a good kid, and got a long with everybody,” remembers Jamiel Shaw Sr. of his son. On March 2, 2008, Shaw Jr. was walking home from school when a car approached him. Pedro Espinoza, an illegal alien who is part of the brutal 18th Street Gang, stepped out the car, approached Shaw, shot him once in the stomach, and then walked behind Shaw and shot him in the back of his head.
To make the tragedy even worse, Jamiel Shaw’s mother, Sergeant Anita Shaw, was serving in Iraq at the time of his murder.
Espinoza was released from Los Angeles County Prison on unrelated charges only a day earlier. LA County Prison officials failed to notify ICE he was being detained. (Pedro Espinoza was recently convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to the death penalty)
“That’s what happened to my son, someone decided not to check,” said Shaw Sr. He continued, “If they had to call ICE, my son would have been alive.”
With Secure Communities, such deadly discretion is taken away from local law enforcement. Even though every one of the fifty-eight counties in California is signed up with Secure Communities, AB 1081 will make that cooperation moot. That’s because AB 1081 will end cooperation between the State of California and ICE on detainers on all but the most extreme cases.
Jamiel Shaw Sr. believes that if it becomes law more families will go through the same tragedy.
“I’m trying to prevent other people from going through this.”
AB 1081 passed the mostly Democratic California legislature in August and now it awaits the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown. Jamiel Shaw Sr. is hopeful but he’s also realistic.
“Do I expect him to veto it, no.”
Even as the Shaw family battles against AB 1081, they’ve also fought a largely fruitless battle to strengthen California’s immigration laws. They helped to craft Jamiel’s Law, which would have mandated that all illegal alien gang members in California be turned over to immigration authorities upon apprehension, along with earmarking more state resources to help police track down and apprehend illegal alien gang members. While this law appears to be easy to support, Jamiel Shaw Sr. said he’s been unable to get anyone from the California legislature to champion it.
The Shaw family has been trying to get the necessary signatures to get Jamiel’s Law on the California ballot, effectively sidestepping the California legislature. Thus far, they’ve been unable to get the necessary seventy-six thousand signatures necessary to get a proposed law on the ballot. Jamiel Shaw Sr. said he remains undaunted.
"I’ll fight for Jamiel’s Law until the day I die,” said the elder Shaw.
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