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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is suing California for “sanctuary laws” he says protect criminal illegals. True to form, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff apparently tipped off hundreds of illegals—including one convicted for sodomizing a drugged victim and another convicted for armed robbery—ahead of a recent sweep by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. In these conditions, Californians might want to recall an illegal alien who evaded deportation, and the ensuing costs to the state in money and lives.
Juan Corona was born in the Mexican state of Jalisco in 1934. In 1950, he crossed the border illegally into the United States. Corona was deported in 1956, but like countless others, he had no trouble violating U.S. immigration law and returning a second time. By 1960, he was working as a labor contractor near Yuba City.
On May 19, 1971, peach grower Goro Kagehiro noticed an unusual digging in his orchard. It turned out to be the grave of Kenneth Whiteacre. Somebody had sodomized the man then stabbed him to death and mutilated his head with a machete. That gruesome discovery launched a search for other bodies. By June 4, police had found 25 victims, including: Charles Fleming, Melford Sample, Donald Smith, John J. Haluka, Warren Kelley, Sigurd Beierman, William Emery Kamp, Clarence Hocking, James W. Howard, Jonah R. Smallwood, Elbert T. Riley, Paul B. Allen, Edward Martin Cupp, Albert Hayes, Raymond Muchache, John H. Jackson, Lloyd Wallace Wenzel, Mark Beverly Shields, Sam Bonafide, and Joseph Maczak. Four others were never identified.
The victims ranged in age from 40 to 68, and not a single one was Mexican. The killer had buried each one with their arms over their heads, in some cases with their pants pulled down. All the victims had been sodomized and stabbed in the chest. One had been shot. The killer then took a machete to the back of their heads, slashing them in the shape of a cross.
With the body of Melford Sample and other victims, police found receipts made out to Juan Corona. At Corona’s home, they found a meat cleaver, machete, double-bladed ax and wooden club, all stained with blood. They also found a gun and a ledger book containing the names of seven victims. Police arrested Corona and charged him with murder.
In 1973, a jury found Corona guilty and he drew a sentence of 25 consecutive life terms. In 1978, a state appellate court overturned the conviction, charging that Corona’s lawyers failed to counter the 119 witnesses for the prosecution. Corona’s second trial in 1982 took seven months and cost taxpayers $5 million. Closing arguments took 12 days and after two weeks of deliberation the jury returned and once again found Corona guilty on all charges.
The Mexican’s murder spree was the worst in U.S. history before John Wayne Gacy, convicted in 1980 of killing 33 young men and boys in Chicago. Illinois saw fit to execute Gacy in 1994, but Juan Corona took 25 American lives—at least—and got to keep his own life. His victims were all non-Mexicans, and included African Americans and Native Americans, so his killings could have been motivated by racial hatred. It is also possible that Corona sought to eliminate non-Mexicans from the farm-worker job market.
In any case, Corona at his 2011 parole hearing said the men he killed in the course of a year were “winos” who had trespassed in the orchards. On November 11, 2016, two days after Donald Trump’s election, Corona was denied parole again. He’ll turn 84 this year.
According to California’s Legislative Analyst, it costs $71,000 per year to house one prison inmate per year. So after more than 40 years in prison, the costs to house Juan Corona run well into the millions, on top of his $5 million trial. A ballpark figure for compensation from the Mexican government is zero, and of the foreign nationals in U.S. prisons, nearly 70 percent, are Mexicans. Like Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, the criminal Mexican who killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco, and Luis Bracamontes, the Mexican illegal who murdered police officers Danny Oliver and Michael Davis, Juan Corona was not supposed to be in the United States in the first place.
Under California’s sanctuary policy, if American farmer Goro Kagehiro reported Juan Corona to federal immigration authorities, Attorney General Xavier Becerra would prosecute the farmer and fine him $10,000. If Corona fled to Oakland, Mayor Libby Schaff would alert him to the presence of federal agents. For recurring Governor Jerry Brown, Jeff Sessions is “basically going to war against the state of California.” As Nancy Pelosi put it: “We will fight this sham lawsuit and will fight all cowardly attacks on our immigrant communities.”
California Democrats have made false-documented illegals a privileged, protected class, and by now the reason should be clear. As a State Department investigation recently revealed, Mexican national Gustavo Araujo Lerma stole an American citizen’s identity and for more than two decades voted illegally in federal, state, and local elections.
As Sessions’ lawsuit proceeds, and with midterm elections coming up, the federal government would do well to reveal how many other false-documented illegals voted in American elections. As the president contends, the number could easily be in the millions.