Is Lennox Lake worth protecting?

Monday, May 15, 2017
John Stewart - Guest Columnist

John StewartCalifornia is a magnet for illegal aliens, aided and abetted by the government and the courts. It's also where a recent near-fatal auto accident speaks to the lack of resolve in America to secure its borders.

I don't know Lennox Lake. I've never met him. But his story serves as a microcosm of one of America's greatest problems – not having the resolve to do what is right. In fact, America has shown a disturbing lack of resolve to do what is necessary. But I digress.

Lennox is a six-year-old boy who, on May 8, was returning with his parents from a day at Disneyland. They were a block away from their home in San Ysidro, California, when a speeding pickup truck ran a stop sign and crashed into the passenger side of the family's Honda Accord, the same side where Lennox was seated in the back seat, secured in his car seat as required by California law. Lennox's dad, Benjamin, was trapped in the driver's seat. Benjamin's wife, Ingrid, crawled out of the front passenger seat to come to the aid of Lennox. She found him unconscious, not breathing, and bleeding from his ears, nostrils and head according to his grandmother.

Lennox suffered major head trauma, and was taken to a nearby children's hospital where he underwent two surgeries. According to his grandmother, doctors are "cautiously optimistic" that he will make a full recovery despite a long road ahead. For that we are thankful.

What does Lennox's ordeal have to do with America's resolve? Look no further than the man, Constantino Banda-Acosta, who police say was driving the pickup that smashed into the car Lennox was in. Banda-Acosta was arrested for felony drunk driving, hit and run, and driving without a valid license. He is also an illegal alien from Mexico. That, in and of itself, speaks to the lack of resolve in America to secure our borders. But when you learn that Mr. Banda-Acosta has been deported at least 15 times since 2002 – yes, 15 times, the last time being January 18, 2017 – every American citizen should be outraged that such a person who should not be here nearly took the life of an innocent American child.

ICE arrestsCalifornia, my former home state, is a magnet for illegal aliens, aided and abetted by the government and the courts. California has several "sanctuary cities," where illegal aliens take refuge without fear of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and many public school districts that have policies of non-cooperation with ICE. California provides drivers' licenses to illegal aliens, and has a number of incentives for people to come to the state illegally, such as welfare, Medi-Cal, government-funded healthcare, unemployment benefits, subsidies to attend public universities, and free public education. Let's not forget Sergio Garcia (not the golfer), an illegal alien who attended law school in California, passed the bar, and in 2013 the California Supreme Court ruled he should be licensed as an attorney despite the fact that he cannot sit on a jury due to his illegal status.

It wasn't always this way in California. The decline of its protection of citizens and taxpayers started in 1994 when the voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 187 which denied access to public education for the children of illegal aliens. The courts struck down most of the provisions of Proposition 187, and ever since California has passed laws aiding illegal immigrant, and even shielding lawbreakers from the consequences of their actions, such as Mr. Banda-Acosta flaunting 15 deportations.

Since the election of Donald Trump as president, California has tried everything imaginable to resist enforcement of immigration laws. Most of us thought that the 2015 killing of Kate Steinle in San Francisco would be the beginning of the end of sanctuary cities. Kate was shot by an illegal alien using a stolen gun, who had seven felony convictions and had been deported five times. In the aftermath, the House of Representatives proposed "Kate's Law" that mandated prison for anyone deported who comes back into the United States without permission, but no vote was ever held. A similar law was passed in the Senate, but died after it was filibustered by Democrats. Apparently, Lennox Lake and all other American citizens are not worth protecting from deported illegal aliens.

In light of what happened to Lennox Lake, are there now even some Democrats willing to put the safety of Americans first and pass a law with mandatory minimum prison sentences for anyone deported who returns to the United States illegally? If what happened to Lennox is not enough to bring change in laws and practices – even in California – then we must question whether American citizenship includes the assurance that our government is looking out for us. At this point in time it is doubtful. Just ask Lennox Lake's family.

John Stewart is a lawyer, former law school professor, and radio personality. He is currently the executive director of Ratio Christi International, a campus apologetics alliance, and is an allied attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in 'Perspectives' columns published by are the sole responsibility of the article's author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network,, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

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