A six-year-old boy in San Diego was severely injured when a drunk-driving illegal alien allegedly slammed into the family’s car on their way home from the Disneyland theme park, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The illegal alien suspect, who attempted to flee the scene, had already been deported fifteen times, according to the Union-Tribune newspaper.
Suspect Constantino Banda-Acosta was deported back to his native Mexico the first time in 2002 and re-entered and been deported at least 14 times since, most recently in January of this year, the newspaper reported.
The Union-Tribune‘s account of the wreck is harrowing:
The speeding Chevrolet Silverado hit the driver and passenger’s side where the boy, Lennox Lake, was sitting in his car seat, said his grandmother, Cheryl Lake.
The boy’s father, Benjamin, became trapped. His wife, Ingrid, crawled out of the front passenger seat and rushed to aid Lennox, who was unconscious, not breathing and bleeding from his nostrils, ears and head, his grandmother said.
The child suffered a major head injury and was taken to a hospital. As of Tuesday night, he had undergone two surgeries at Rady Children’s Hospital, Cheryl Lake said.
Despite a long road ahead, his family and doctors are “cautiously optimistic” the boy will make a full recovery, his grandmother said.
In addition to his immigration record, Banda-Acosta is reported to have a long petty criminal history, including multiple arrests for domestic violence.
Banda-Acosta now faces felony charges for hit-and-run with injury, drunken driving with injury, and driving without a valid license.
ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack told the Union-Tribune that her agency would seek deportation after the case is resolved.
Even though the State of California has promoted so-called “sanctuary” policies, ICE officers do not worry Banda-Acosta will be kept from the agency after his trial. ICE cited a long-standing good relationship with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in saying they expect him to be turned over at the resolution of this case.
Should Banda-Acosta be caught trying to re-enter the United States again, he will face federal felony charges under new prosecution guidelines disseminated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month.
This drunk driving incident will also qualify for attention from the newly announced Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE). The boy and his family will be able to get news on the immigration proceedings against their alleged victimizer and receive legal assistance to help their views be heard during the process.
The crime has already taken on political significance in the wider debate over illegal aliens in California. “Using the pain and suffering of victims and their families to vilify a single community is irresponsible and unhelpful,” Andrea Guerrero, the executive director of Alliance San Diego told the Union-Tribune.
Guerrero’s group is part of the Equality Alliance of San Diego County, which receives over $1 million a year in contributions. It regularly publishes calls against enforcement of federal immigration. It recently launched a campaign to prevent any additional funding for immigration enforcement and offers aliens free legal help to avoid deportation.
Cheryl Lake, whose grandson is still in the hospital because of the crash, was less supportive of the illegal alien “community.” “There are not enough words to describe the huge impact his actions have had,” she told the
“There are not enough words to describe the huge impact his actions have had,” she told the Union-Tribune, saying she was “unable to wrap her mind around” how Banda-Acosta had been able to enter the United States illegally so many times.