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Murder Incites Illegal Immigration Debate

Residents feel the incident has triggered an unfair backlash against Latino communities.

The murder of a young Flanders woman by an undocumented Guatemalan man has ignited heated discourse over immigration -- and what some feel is unfair backlash against the Latino community.

The focus, some believe, should remain on the crime -- not the defendant's country of origin or immigration status; others disagree.

On Wednesday, Suffolk County homicide detectives arrested Guillermo Alfonso Alvarado-Ajcuc, 21, of Riverhead for the . 
Alvarado-Ajcuc, a Guatemalan resident who is in the United States without a green card, was charged with one count of murder in the second degree and rape in the first degree.

Garcia’s Riverhead Department of Motor Vehicles on May 7. The Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner determined the woman’s death was a homicide.

Thursday morning, assistantsaid Alvarado-Ajcuc gave a full confession stating that on the night of May 6, during the course of raping Garcia, he strangled her with a belt.

At his arraignment, Alvarado-Ajcuc said he lives with his father, a day laborer who does landscaping.

Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith spoke to Alvarado-Ajcuc at Riverhead Town Justice court, explaining he would notify the Guatemalan embassy about the charges against him. He also gave him immigration warnings, explaining that due to the nature of the felony charge, no bail would be set, and that a conviction or a plea of guilty could result in his deportation from the United States.

In addition, Smith said, should Alvarado-Ajcuc leave the United States, the charges could prevent his return; if he should eventually apply for citizenship, the charges would result in a denial of the application.

After news spread about the arrest, Donna Monti-Hoera, whose daughter was brutally murdered by undocumented immigrant Faustino Chavez in 2004, expressed her thoughts. Hoera, who left her job at Cor-J Seafood in Westhampton to go pick up her son at daycare in Riverhead, never arrived - her body was later found in Westhampton Beach.

"It seems to me that some Latino men have little value reguarding women," Monti-Hoera wrote in an email. "The loss of Vinessa has destroyed me. And when I heard of Ms. Garcia's murder, I felt for her family's loss and relived the pain and suffering of my loss all over again."

Chavez, an undocumented immigrant, confessed to raping and murdering Hoera and accepted a plea bargain. He was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison and after he becomes eligible for parole, will most likely be deported back to his native country of Guatemala, officials say.

“I have deep sympathy for Ms. Garcia's family,” Monti-Hoera said. Monti-Hoera also cited what she believes are the high number of illegal immigrants in prison for murder and the escalating cost to keep them incarcerated.

Readers on Riverhead Patch weighed in: “When is this country going to wake up about letting illegals come to this country? See what happens? Arizona sure has the right idea,” wrote Charles Rimicci.

But others disagree. Sister Margaret Smyth of the North Fork Spanish Apostolate said the argument stirs the pot of anti-illegal immigrant sentiment.

“People who are like that are going to look for anything,” she said. “You’re not going to change them. There are plenty of Americans who do the same kinds of things.”

Monti-Hoera said she is “passionate” about illegal immigration, especially since her own grandparents were legal immigrants who endured challenges to get to the United States.

After the murder, some have called for the closure of Latino nightspots. 

Isabel Sepulveda, head of HOLA, a Latino rights organization on the East End, said similar crimes happen everywhere. “Like in any community, there are good Anglo businesses and bad Anglo businesses -- the same in the black and the Latino communities. You cannot generalize.”

Concluded Toni, a Riverhead Patch reader in an online post: “Criminals are criminals. They come in all colors, sizes and races. What’s illegal is the crime he committed.” 

magyart August 09, 2012 at 04:53 PM
This next election is critically important. We must vote for politicians that want to enforce immigration laws and vote against all others. Enforcement of these laws will improve the safety and security of society, improve the economy by lowering unemployment and reduce the wasteful spending of our tax dollars on entitlements for ILLEGAL migrants.
Dennis August 09, 2012 at 04:54 PM
To answer your question, Boo: YES, they REALLY DO want that kind of society. And by "they," I mean the *REAL* rulers of the world. Google "North American Union," "Security and Prosperity Partnership," "Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), " etc etc http://www.blogtalkradio.com/straightdopes
Virginia Whitelaw August 09, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Personally I don't want to pay to have an illegal migrant in our prisons. Send them back. Send them all back if they do NOT HAVE DOCUMENTATION to be in the US legally. And for people who hire them, SHAME on you.
Dennis August 10, 2012 at 10:21 PM
I understand the sentiment, but seriously - justice MUST be done! Should the rapist/murderer just be sent to the country he came from? WITHOUT being locked up for at least a few decades? Let me tell you what will happen if they just returned him to his country: He'll be back within a matter of a few weeks. He will be here "UNDOCUMENTED" (once again), so no one will even know he's here. Can't track him. He'll be free to kill again - Like SO MANY OTHERS THAT ARE HERE ILLEGALLY, FLEEING FROM JUSTICE IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES. Our only recourse now is to incarcerate him, at OUR expense. THIS is the sad price of the utterly uncontrolled flow of CRIMINALS into our country. No, they don't CARE for our country, they have NO desire to become Americans, and want ONLY to "make a better life for themselves" (i.e. escape justice for crimes they committed in their countries and make even more money in the process) E-verify isn't the answer, either. We MUST stop allowing our "rulers" (weren't they - at a time - PUBLIC SERVANTS???) create these problems, just so they can offer their "solution" to the very problem they created (namely, MORE CONTROL OVER THE REST OF US LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS!) Google "Hegelian Dialectic" http://www.blogtalkradio.com/straightdopes
Virginia Whitelaw August 11, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Well it's obvious that US don't give a crap. I still think all illegal migrants should be sent back,and more focus on whom they let in.

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