Suspect Eduardo de la Lima Vargas, 39, is an illegal immigrant from Mexico who is charged with the deaths of two persons in Salem, Oregon. He is charged with running a red light on a state highway on August 19, striking a motorcycle being ridden by Logan Wilson, 34, and wife Jessi, 32. The truck that Vargas was driving struck the couple and threw their bodies into the air, killing them both. Vargas was drunk at the time.
Vargas was driving a truck and hauling an occupied horse trailer. The force of the collusion threw the two motorcyclists from the motorcycle and lodged them under the truck, thus causing a fire that damaged both vehicles. The Wilson couple was taken to Salem Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. They left four young children orphaned. The horse was unharmed. The incident occured after midnight.
A breathalyzer test taken two hours after the incident found that Vargas registered a .10 blood alcohol level. According to local police, Vargas may have registered at twice the legal blood alcohol limit at the time of the crash. Vargas was taken to the Marion County Jail where he was booked on two counts of manslaughter, and one count each of reckless endangering, reckless driving and driving under the influence. Currently, he is in state custody on a $500,000 bond.
On August 23, Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) officials submitted an immigration detainer request with the Marion County Jail on Vargas. A statement by ICE indicted that Vargas is a Mexican national residing illegally in the United States. However, Marion County has a “sanctuary” policy that limits its cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
According to David Olen Cross, an Oregonian who tracks crimes committed by illegal aliens, Washington County, Oregon, had 200 of the 943 foreign nationals incarcerated in the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) prison system. According to Cross, Washington County is second in the state for crimes committed by foreign nationals and represents 21.21 percent of the criminal aliens in DOC prisons. Among the violent crimes committed by these criminal aliens are sex abuse, rape, murder, abduction, assault, robbery, and sodomy.
According to Cross, of Oregon’s 943 state prison inmates with active ICE detainers as of July, 731 — 77 percent — have been convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses. By comparison, about 60 percent of domestic inmates who were convicted of the same offenses.
According to ICE, Marion County Jail does not honor any aspect of an ICE detainer if it is not accompanied by a criminal arrest warrant issued by a magistrate judge. Currently, there is no federal criminal charge for which ICE can obtain a federal judicial arrest warrant for Vargas.
Liberal Oregon has had a sanctuary law on the books since 1987, which prohibits state and local law enforcement resources from being used to enforce federal immigration law. When Democrats were able to legislate further protections for illegal aliens in the state legislature, a ballot initiative got more than 97,000 signatures in July. The intiative will appear on the ballot in the November 6 general election.
Measure 105 is among five ballot initiatives facing Oregon voters in November. It would repeal Oregon Revised Statute 181A.820, which forbids state agencies, including law enforcement, from using state resources or personnel to detect or apprehend persons whose only violation of the law is that of federal immigration law. If passed, any law enforcement agency would be allowed to use agency funds, equipment, and personnel to detect and apprehend people whose only violation of the law is a violation of federal immigration law.