Sister Denise was not killed by driver’s immigration status

Sister Denise Mosier teaching in Africa

The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, reeling from the death of  Sister Denise Mosier and the critical injuries received by two others in a car accident on Sunday, are also dealing with an out-pouring of rage about the immigration status of the driver of the other car.  Local officials and the news media have recounted not only his past episodes of driving drunk – which are relevant – but also his status as an illegal immigrant.

They don’t quite say it, but their words imply that if we just did a better job of deporting illegal immigrants, we wouldn’t have tragic accidents like this one.  Perhaps this specific accident would not have happened if officials had been more efficient in deporting Carlos A. Martinelly Montano – but we have a ready supply of home-grown American-citizen drunk drivers who are involved in thousands of serious and often fatal crashes each year.

Drunk driving, not immigration status, was the cause of the accident

Bishop Loverde, in speaking to the press immediately after the accident, highlighted the fact that the driver who caused the fatal crash was driving drunk just after 8:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning – and pointed to the need to find more effective ways to prevent drunk driving.  If this death has to be related to a policy issue, Bishop Loverde has selected the one that is relevant.  Moreover, he seeks a solution rather than simply casting blame.

The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia themselves issued a statement, asking that this tragic accident not become a platform for political diatribes.  Their concern is different:

“The young driver of the other car will experience the consequences of his decisions through our justice system.  We sincerely hope this heartbreak will help him evaluate his decisions and give him motivation to make life-changing choices. We will continue to pray for him and his family.”
(Benedictine Sisters of Virginia Website, including news on the injured sisters and photos of Sister Denise Mosier.)

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  1. Perhaps Martinelly-Montano should have been in prison for the DUI conviction and the state law’s need to be stiffened in penalty. But at the same time, there is a legitimate case that federal law enforcement of illegal immigration needs to be improved, because he should have been deported after these DUI convictions. He should have been deported after the first one!

    I would agree this shouldn’t become a political football, but there are legitimate policy issues to be addressed here.

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