Monday, November 26, 2007

Probation For Milwaukee Police Officer Given Relative's ID As An Immigrant Child

At least there will be no jail time for Oscar Ayala-Cornejo, 25, who was kicked off the Milwaukee Police Department for having assumed a relative's identity as a child at the behest of his parents, then lying on his official paperwork about his name.

He faces deportation to his native Mexico, while his family and connections are here.

Sad ending to a sad case, though it could have been worse.

I wonder how many good upstanding citizens in our city and state have a relative who came into this country illegally, or who assumed another person's ID?

How many people have relatives who, years ago, jumped ship and swam ashore in New York City because their paperwork or background in their native Europe was suspect, or flawed?

And how many who came saying they were someone else, with relatives' paperwork, such as it was?

How many people know of someone in these situations, regardless of when they occurred?

More than you'd think, I think, because America's borders have been inviting and porous for many, many years.

It's good to bring rational solutions to illegal immigration. I'm for that - - without the rancor and hysteria useless anger that some have brought to the debate for partisan or ideological purposes.

And to remember that there can be unintended consequences, for all parties - - the community included - - when violators are discovered.

Alaya-Cornejo apparently came here illegally as a child, and was given the identity by his parents. As a child, he was in no position to say "no." And things continued from there.

From our easy chairs, and with our good fortune for having been born here, some might want to point fingers, but that judgement is useless.

What counts is what happened in court.

By all reports, Milwaukee lost the services of a good police officer, and also those of his brother, another MPD officer, who lost his job, too, because he knew of the subterfuge.

But thanks to the sentencing judge, Rudolph Randa, who from the federal bench ruled wisely.

He understood that was no need to add to the losses.

Good lesson to absorb.

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