Illegal enabler does the courthouse shuffle
Houston Chronicle says:
The owner of a landscaping firm was arrested Wednesday and faces up to 10 years in federal prison, accused of harboring one of his workers, an illegal immigrant from Mexico charged with the capital murder of a Houston police officer.
Court documents show that Robert Lane Camp, 47, went to considerable lengths to help Juan Leonardo Quintero and keep him on the job at his Deer Park landscaping company before the September 2006 killing of officer Rodney Johnson.
In August 1998, Camp posted a $10,000 bond for Quintero after he was jailed on an indecency with a child charge and hired an attorney to defend him. After the worker was deported in May 1999, Camp sent him money in Mexico and later bought him a plane ticket from Phoenix to Houston after Quintero re-entered through Arizona illegally, according to an affidavit by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. Camp then purchased a house in Houston and rented it to Quintero.
This is the lower depths even in the sleazy world of employers who hire cut-rate illegals. Something must have been going on other than the usual motive of greed for Camp to go such a distance in aid of Señor Sickbag. Were they homosexual lovers? Was Quintero blackmailing Camp? Whatever, Camp is morally partially responsible for the murder of a police officer and the illegal return to this country of a child abuser.
In theory this should put disturbing thoughts into the heads of the thousands of employers who enrich themselves by laying off Americans and replacing them with cheap illegal labor. But the circumstances are exceptional. For one thing, cop killers and accomplices are in a category of their own, and even politicians who normally give a nudge and a wink concerning illegals aren't about to stick their necks out for a Quintero. And while I have zero minus infinity sympathy for Camp, it doesn't help him that he's a pretty small-time businessman who probably hasn't been notably generous with campaign contributions.
How about some indictments and hard time for big business executives who preside over the hiring of illegals, starting with Swift & Co., six of whose plants were raided and shut down in December 2006 as more than a thousand illegals were arrested? Needless to say, the guys in the corner offices are still enjoying their views out the window — not that the meatpacking plants offer beautiful landscapes, but they're still better than looking through the bars of a jail cell.It won't happen on the watch of our quisling President Jorge W. Bush-Gonzales, but even small steps forward are, well, steps.