|16-year-old Clarisse Grime|
Even accounting for those kinds of excesses, it seems that there was quite a bit to like about young Clarisse Grime, the 16-year-old junior-to-be at St. Paul Harding High School, whose life was snuffed out Thursday when a driver - and we'll get to him in a moment - lost control of his car and ran her over as she sat with her boyfriend, waiting for a bus.
Clarisse had apparently survived quite a bit to make it to St. Paul. She was born in Ethiopia, a place where nearly 20% of children don't make it to age five. That's where she learned to speak Amharic, and when her family got out of Ethiopia and moved to Italy, she picked up Italian. In the U.S. for nearly three years, English was her third language, and she was fluent enough to become an honor roll student at Harding.
"I could see her as Secretary of State or, who knows, she could have run for Governor," a Harding teacher told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Clarisse was attending summer school and after Thursday classes, she and her boyfriend of two years were sitting near the football field, waiting for a Metro bus, when her tragic destiny came calling.
It came in the form of a 2001 Ford Expedition, driven by one Carlos Viveros-Colorado, a 50-year-old man who, according to witnesses, was speeding and lost control of the car. It crossed the street, ran over a sign, ran over a fire hydrant and hurtled towards the young couple, who tried to get out of the way. Clarisse's boyfriend was hit and injured his hip, while she was struck and died with minutes, all the promise of her life erased in not much more than the blink of an eye.
The one person left uninjured was Viveros-Colorado, who was quickly taken into custody, and there's a story to his life as well. That story includes:
- Entering the United States illegally more than a decade ago;
- Being convicted of drunk driving in 2001
- Never obtaining a Minnesota drivers license
- Receiving a series of speeding tickets
- Being convicted and fined $100 this past April for driving without a license
- Using a false name and stolen Social Security number to maintain his employment
Because when it comes to illegal immigration, your government has stopped bothering to protect you, bowing instead to political correctness and the alleged value of "diversity."
We're not immune from the problem here in Minnesota, but in border states like Arizona and California, it's even worse. California professor Victor Davis Hanson has written often and eloquently about the problem (click here for one example) of illegal immigration, and this basic summary of his will ring quite true to most rational people:
"The simple fact is that once someone chooses to enter the U.S. illegally and remain here illegally, breaking the law, either deliberately or through indifference, becomes easier and habitual: obtaining false IDs, avoiding normal bureaucratic requirements, violating zoning laws, etc. And when the host, whether federal, state, or local government, sends a message that the issue is now entirely political rather than legal, often the illegal immigrant senses that he is (and should be) generally exempt from the mundane laws that others must follow."
That's exactly the Viveros-Colorado story. The U.S. government, the State of Minnesota and the City of St. Paul sent him signals every step of the way that said, "We don't really care if you're breaking the law because you're a member of a politically protected minority, so do what you want." Minneapolis and St. Paul are proud to call themselves "sanctuary cities," where law enforcement personnel are told NOT TO NOTIFY the federal government or cooperate with the feds when they find illegal aliens living in the city.
We devote more government resources to making sure Grandma doesn't carry 5 ounces of shampoo on to an airplane than we do to arresting and deporting people like Viveros-Colorado. That's why Obama's uncle Onyango felt comfortable living and working illegally in Massachusetts for a couple of decades before his DWI conviction earlier this year. And did that conviction get him deported? No. In fact, just weeks after the conviction, Massachusetts gave him his license back (click here for details) so that it wouldn't be inconvenient for him to get to work.
In 2008, after an illegal immigrant drove into a school bus and killed four children near Cottonwood, Minn., then-Gov. Pawlenty offered a series of proposals that would have made it easier to identify and deport illegal aliens. But the DFL-controlled legislature never acted. Even today, if it were up to DFLers like Gov. Dayton and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Vivero-Colorado wouldn't even have to produce an ID to vote. Why should he have any respect for the laws of this country?
One final irony. Little Clarisse had already learned three languages and spoke English after just 2-1/2 years in the U.S. But when Viveros-Colorado was arrested Thursday, he needed an interpreter to talk to police.
Clarisse's family doesn't have the money for her funeral. Contributions to the Clarisse Grime fund can be made at any Wells Fargo bank branch.