View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Alleged rapist a 3-time border jumper

Posted: November 22, 2008 9:43 p.m.
Updated: November 23, 2008 4:59 a.m.

Adrian Arriano, the alleged knifepoint rapist who has snuck across the border twice after being deported, awaits trial for 29 charges connected to his alleged rapes in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Arriano also has an immigration hold against him for his alleged third illegal re-entry into the United States.

A Mexican citizen, Arriano is accused of a series of 2007 knifepoint sexual assaults in Canyon Country. He is charged with one count of attempted murder, 10 counts of forcible rape, five counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, three counts of sodomy, three counts of forced oral copulation, four counts of burglary, one count of false imprisonment by violence, one count of residential robbery and one count of assault to commit a felony during a burglary. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Local immigration attorney Lance Gallardo isn't xenophobic and he doesn't spend his weekends defending the United States border.

He helps people immigrate legally to the United States and helps resident aliens who are convicted of non-violent crimes stay in the country.

Gallardo's mission is to reform a system he considers broken.

"What we're doing right now doesn't work," he said.

"Illegal re-entry is the top prosecuted crime by the U.S. Attorney's Los Angeles office," said Thom Mrozek, office spokesman. Of the 1,900 prosecutions by the Los Angeles office in 2007, more than one-third were for illegal re-entry into the United States.

"These are individuals with at least one illegal re-entry who have also committed a crime in the country," he said.

Before the U.S. Attorney's Office prosecutes an illegal re-entry case, Immigration and Customs

Enforcement conducts an administrative hearing, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. During the administrative hearing ICE determines whether to deport the person or hand him or her over to the U.S. Attorney's Office for an illegal re-entry hearing, she said.

The penalty for illegal re-entry is up to 20 years in prison, and defendants serve 85 percent of their sentence under federal sentencing guidelines, Kice said.

"We are trying to discourage people from coming back, and keep them off the streets," she said.
Arriano will go through an ICE hearing and potentially an illegal re-entry hearing once his California trial is complete, Mrozek said.

Any time Arriano has to serve in California will be served before he serves federal time, he said.

"These people are demonstrated threats to the community and once they are kicked out of the country they return," Mrozek said, explaining the rationale for locking up foreign nationals instead of deporting them again.

Gallardo argues there is another side to illegal re-entry cases: the family of the affected and the arbitrary nature of the prosecutions.

He used the example of a person in the country for fewer than 10 years who commits a second shoplifting offense.

That person can be charged with an aggravated felony and deported.

"The loser here is the family," Gallardo said. "The defendant often is the breadwinner and the family can end up on welfare."

The deported person inevitably comes back to the country illegally, he said.

Gallardo also questioned the automatic deportation of resident aliens for low-grade drug possession.

"If you possess more than 30 grams of any drug other than marijuana, you can be deported and barred from the U.S. for life," he said.

That includes people who may be recreational users, he said.

Gallardo's solution is to expedite citizenship by eliminating the green cards.

"(Green cards) are like a test drive for citizenship. Instead of green cards make a decision right there that allows people to become a citizen," he said.

Reorganizing the system will create space in the court system to deal with alleged hardened criminal like Arriano quickly, Gallardo said.

With the mountain of counts against Arriano, what to do with him may be moot, Mrozek said.

"If convicted, he may go to jail for a very long time," he said.


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...