The next time Stephen Colbert slips into his alter ego and skewers the illegal-alien issue to laughs, he might want to consider the family of Chandra Levy, the 24-year-old intern who went jogging in Rock Creek Park on May 1, 2001 and was brutally murdered.
Her alleged assailant, Ingmar Guandique, who entered the U.S. illegally from El Salvador in 2000, is about to go on trial. Jury selection commenced today. He is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault. He already has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after confessing to assaulting two female joggers in the park about the time Levy was murdered.
The Levys are hardly the only U.S. family to discover that not all illegal aliens come here to work and eventually enter the mainstream. Too many come here to ply their illicit trades, take up with gangs and live in the shadow of polite society.
They are a menace who eat up tax dollars and terrorize neighborhoods. That is a reality different from the one often peddled on Capitol Hill in bi-partisan fashion, which is: They do the menial work that Americans no longer are inclined to do. The latter is an insult to millions of blue-collar Americans.
The F.B.I and Justice Department do not track the number of of crimes committed by illegal aliens. Nor do the media routinely unearth a perpetrator’s illegal residency. Only in sensational cases does it come out that an illegal alien committed an unspeakable act against an American or legal resident.
Of course, what initially drove the story was not the person-gone-missing dimension but Levy’s romantic connection to then-Rep. Gary A. Condit, D-Calif, and his suspicious manner in the days and weeks that followed her disappearance.
Well-meaning souls on both sides of the political aisle can wax eloquently in favor or against illegal aliens. This is not to take a position on that. That is to suggest that it should not be played to cheap laughs, not when too many Americans have been victimized by it or live in fear of it.