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To help fix an immigration system she believes is broken, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick plans to introduce the “The Scott Gardner Act” when Congress returns in September.
Gardner was the Mount Holly man killed last month in Brunswick County when his car was hit by a truck driven by an illegal Mexican immigrant. Ramiro Gallegos has been charged with drunken driving and murder.
It was Gallegos’ fifth impaired driving charge in five years. He was eligible for deportation each time he was arrested. Though he was entered in computers as an illegal alien in 2000, immigration officials say they received no requests for information about him from local law enforcement.
Many police departments only question immigration status if suspects are involved in felonies. Because drunken driving is a misdemeanor, it’s a lower priority for immigration officers.
Myrick, a Charlotte Republican, said last week, “There has got to be a better reporting system.” She said Gardner’s death was “a call to action.”
(Posted on August 12, 2005)