Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tale of two immigrants ends in sentencing hearing

Burlington County, New Jersey – Our story: In the beginning, they met on a Philadelphia street, two immigrants with vastly different styles.

Lyudmila Burshteyn was a naturalized citizen, a Russian Jewess who escaped the Soviet Union and became a businesswoman in her new adopted nation, the U.S.

In the middle, a convicted drug dealer murdered Mrs. Burshteyn after a 2009 carjacking.

Lenroy Laurance, who hails from Jamaica and never made the slightest attempt to legalize his presence in the United States of America, made Mrs. Burshteyn lie on the rear floor boards of her own car during a torturous six-hour kidnaping and murder spree that ended in a field in rural Burlington County, New Jersey, famous for cranberry bogs, piney woods, blueberry fields - and Ft. Dix.

You know Ft. Dix. That's where Edith said Archie went “for six weeks that time to fight Hit-lah” during Dub-yah Dub-yah Two? Yeah, the Big One.

In the end, a judge sentenced Mr. Laurance to a life term in the New Jersey penitentiary for her murder.

But a blogger who works for the Philadelphia “Inquirer” pointed out to her readers that it didn't necessarily have to end that way, that the middle and end of this story could have been omitted entirely with a little help from ICE, the people who bring you Homeland Security in the variety of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

You see, Mr. Laurance was released from a Brooklyn jail many years previously after a scrape with the law for selling drugs on a New York street. He had languished in the lockup for 180 days, the limit the U.S. Supreme Court says an illegal immigrant may be held without prosecution for illegal entry.

To prosecute an offender for that violation of the U.S. Code so that a person so accused may be deported, says Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for ICE, his country of origin must send “travel documents” to the U.S. in support of the United States Attorney's case.

Jamaica is one of 27 countries that habitually refuses to honor requests for the information from ICE, thus delaying the process far past the 180 days allowed prosecutors to develop their case, according to Mr. Walls.

In the absence of the incriminating information, the accused must be freed from jail, sent on their merry way with or without walking papers to be in the United States of America without any legal authority whatsoever.

The net net? Jakes go free after a six-month hitch for illegal entry to our nation. They go on to keep on doing what they've been doing all along – whether it's selling dope, or kidnapping, torturing and murdering Jewish ladies from the Soviet Union who established their own business and went through the lengthy process required to become a naturalized American citizen – or not.

In an e-mail, Khalid told the “Inquirer” journalist that's one of the "difficulties involved in deporting illegal aliens."

As a poignant epilogue to this tragic tale, Mrs. Burshteyn's son Ruslan addressed the court at Mr. Laurance's sentencing hearing.

He said that now he's seen both sides of “how the sytstem in this country works,” he is feeling the sting of this apparent failing on the part of the United States of America to provide security for its citizens, to protect them from the depredations of people who sell their children drugs, people like Mr. Laurance, convicted drug seller, kidnapper, murderer – and illegal immigrant.

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