15 year old white girl murdered by Mexican illegal aliens; and thoughts on the unprincipled exception

Terry Morris writes:

Speaking of white girls putting themselves (with the help of society and their family members) in dangerous and vulnerable situations and ending up dead, look at what happened to 15 year old Dani Countryman of Texas while visiting her older sister in Oregon in July 2007. A picture of her is posted here. Here’s a story that explains her family background, the source of her problems, and the situation that led to her death.

LA writes:

The first linked story, from September 2008, about the conviction of the murderer, ends with this:

Those demanding a crackdown on illegal immigration cited Dani Countryman’s murder as an example of the consequences of lax border control and immigration policy. They were further outraged when they learned that Rivera Gamboa had been in police custody nine months before the killing and admitted he was in the United States illegally.

The Oregonian reported that Rivera Gamboa pleaded guilty to two counts of drunken driving in November 2006. He signed a plea agreement that stated he was not a U.S. citizen and was released without anyone in the criminal justice system notifying immigration authorities.

After the newspaper report, Clackamas County changed its policies. At each stop of the law-and-order process—jail, prosecution and probation—the county now reports foreign-born non-U.S. citizens to immigration authorities. Others who arouse suspicion—no Social Security number, no permanent address and inability to speak English—may also be flagged for review.

There’s the unprincipled exception for you! The principle of modern liberalism is inclusion and non-discrimination, especially with regard to cultural aliens and illegal aliens. Liberalism, mandating the acceptance of all people, contains no non-liberal principle that would tell authorities it was wrong to release into society an illegal alien who has pled guilty to drunken driving. Only when something shocking happened, only when Gamboa murdered a 15 year old girl by stepping on her throat while his cousin was attempting to rape her, and the news of his earlier arrest and release came out, did the authorities in this one Oregon county (and just this one county) institute a policy of reporting criminal aliens and illegal aliens to the federal immigration authorities. They didn’t have it in them to institute such a policy earlier, because, as liberals living in liberal society, they had no principled basis for acting in a non-inclusive way and enforcing the immigration laws against illegal aliens. Only on the spur of a horrible event and the unthinking, instinctive compulsion not to let it happen again did they start enforcing the law.

Liberalism prohibits any reasoned appeal to non-liberal principles. Therefore, under the liberal order, non-liberal things can be done only on the basis of instinct, emotion, a pressing emergency, or a social consensus that has been arrived at automatically and without reasoning.

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Hannon writes:

I enjoyed reading your take on the law enforcement change of attitude, thus: “Only on the spur of a horrible event and the unthinking, instinctive compulsion not to let it happen again did they start enforcing the law.”

Fortunately the law was there to adhere to in this case. Where it is not, or where it is insufficient, that same impulse—“automatic and without reason”—might well lead to actions that supersede the law altogether. In other words, vigilantism as a direct result of justifiable outrage. By themselves such developments might be undesirable, but in the complacent and passive America we live in today they might be what it takes to correct and buttress the justice system that is supposed to protect us.

It is heartening to hear that this one small jurisdiction “snapped out of it” and changed policies to protect innocents and society itself over criminal interests, but I wonder that a process of similar reactive character might be necessary to bring about change in the thousands of other minor jurisdictions in the United States. I am also reminded of a recent VFR comment suggesting that the abortion issue would best be relegated to the county level. Such a trend could be a crippling blow to the solar-plexus of liberalism.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 19, 2008 09:42 AM | Send

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