During Super Bowl Week, Remember Edwin Jackson’s Life and Death

Super Bowl Sunday and the week preceding it has become a time of excitement and amped-up expectations. In the last few years, however, Super Bowl Sunday has also become a grim anniversary. It will be four years ago this month that Edwin Jackson had his life snuffed out in a completely preventable tragedy. 

On February 4, 2018, the morning of Super Bowl LII, Jackson, a rising 26-year-old linebacker with the Indianapolis Colts, was killed along with his Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe in a traffic accident in Indiana. While the two stood on the shoulder of a road, a Ford F-150 pickup truck veered into the emergency lane, colliding with Jackson and Monroe, and killing them instantly. 

According to reports, the pickup truck driver, Manuel Orrego-Savala, is an illegal alien whose blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit. Indiana State Police arrested him after he tried to flee the scene on foot. A native of Guatemala, Orrego-Savala was deported in 2007 and 2009 after arrests in San Francisco, a city infamous for its lenient sanctuary policies. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Orrego-Savala had a prior conviction for driving under the influence. He was ultimately sentenced in 2018 to a maximum of 16 years in prison after agreeing to plead guilty to two counts of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or more, causing death. 

While our media seems eager to portray sports figures like Brian Flores and Colin Kaepernick as victims of an unjust system, the press has all but forgotten Edwin Jackson and the cruel, untimely nature of his death. Why? 

The answer should be obvious by now. The circumstances of Jackson’s death do not help advance the media’s progressive, anti-borders agenda. In the Acela Corridor’s groupthink bubble, reporting on stories about innocent people killed by criminal illegal aliens is frowned upon, maybe even racist. Far better to simply employ the media’s preferred form of bias: ignore an inconvenience altogether and act as though it never happened. 

But you better believe if a young African American man like Jackson had died as the result of a traffic stop altercation with a police officer, his would be a household name to this day. That’s not what happened in this instance, however, because he died as a result of the criminal negligence of a drunk-driving illegal alien who never should have been in the country. 

To confront the Edwin Jackson story opens up a host of tough questions. Why was a twice-deported illegal alien with a previous DUI conviction able to drive drunk in Indiana? Why  doesn’t the government make a greater priority of keeping previously deported illegal aliens out of the country? Why do so many of our politicians run interference for these criminal aliens rather than protect our own citizens? 

In the world of politics, the acquisition and consolidation of power are priorities one, two, three, and four. Everything else comes after that. Unscrupulous members of both major political parties have strategized that an unrelenting flow of foreign nationals into the country advances their priorities. That’s why we have policies like sanctuary laws, catch-and-release, and noncitizen voting. 

This power play also reveals the rock-paper-scissors priorities of those in power. While elected leaders give passionate speeches defending the rights of racial minorities, particularly blacks, they will quickly discard individuals in those groups if they happen to be killed by illegal aliens. This can be seen in the cases of Jackson, Jamiel Shaw III, and Cheston Edwards, to name a few. There were no activist-driven protests in their memories, and the media would have ignored them if there were.  

The most frustrating part of this story is that these deaths are easily preventable. They require no new federal agencies or sweeping, omnibus legislation from Congress. They simply require politicians to enforce the immigration laws currently on the books. Protect our borders. Deport those here illegally, especially those with criminal records. If just those two were followed, we might be celebrating Edwin Jackson’s still-active football career instead of remembering his life cut short.

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About Brian Lonergan

Brian Lonergan is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, and co-host of IRLI’s “No Border, No Country” podcast.

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

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