With all the attention on the overwhelmed southern border and the plight of migrant children, a tragic accident in New Hampshire highlights how thoroughly broken the immigration process is in America.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has filed a detainer request against a Ukrainian immigrant accused of killing seven motorcyclists in a fiery crash last week in New Hampshire, according to Fox News .
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, was charged with seven counts of negligent homicide on Tuesday in Lancaster — Zhukovskyy’s lawyer pleaded not guilty on his client’s behalf.
The immigrant has a long history of traffic violations and other legal troubles and the ICE request means he could face deportation back to his native Ukraine once released.
Zhukovskyy, driving for Springfield, Mass.-based Westfield Transport at the time of the crash, was pulling a flatbed trailer with a pick-up truck.
According to investigators, he was driving erratically and crossed into the center lane and collided with bikers from the New England motorcycle club, Marine JarHeads, Fox News reported.
The group is comprised of Marine veterans and their spouses.
Club president Manny Ribeiro said most of the bikers behind him were wiped out by the flatbed trailer. The pick-up truck exploded into flames after the crash.
Five Marines and two others were killed riding to a charity event at a local American Legion chapter, with three others injured — a GoFundMe page has been set up for the victims and their families.
Zhukovskyy was questioned at the scene and released, but was taken into custody on Monday at his West Springfield, Mass., home on a fugitive from justice charge related to Friday’s accident.
As for his immigration status, Zukovsky’s father told the Boston Herald that his son had just been granted a green card.
His license was suspended Monday as authorities deemed Zhukovskyy an “immediate threat,” making it the second time his license has been suspended for this reason.
More from Mass Live:
Zhukovskyy has several license suspensions listed on his record for drunken driving, accidents and what is known as a National Driver Register violation.
State RMV records show Zhukovskyy had his license suspended after he was arrested in June 2013 on a drunken driving charge in Westfield. The state suspended his license after deeming him an “immediate threat.” […]
Court records in Connecticut also show Zhukovskyy was arrested last month on a drunken driving charge.
Erin Deveney, the head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, resigned on Tuesday over the department’s failure to revoke Zhukovskyy’s commercial driver’s license after the Connecticut incident, after being notified Connecticut officials.
And Zhukovskyy’s legal troubles were not limited to driving infractions, as the paper reported that he was arrested in Baytown, Texas, on Feb. 11 for possession of a crack pipe.
Authorities said they “located in the defendant’s residence wax packets containing a residue suspected of being heroin” when he was arrested Monday. If the packets test positive, police say Zhukovskyy will face more charges.
There are still other encounters that involved larceny and drug possession.
More from The Globe:
A review of his record showed Zhukovskyy also had other infractions: He was cited for an equipment violation in 2013; he also received a 90-day suspended jail sentence in Connecticut for a 2015 case of larceny, records show. The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Conn., reported that Zhukovskyy told police in that case that he and another person stole ladders and windows from a Home Depot warehouse.
In January 2017, an employee at a gas station in West Springfield picked up Zhukovskyy’s lost wallet and found cocaine and heroin inside, court records show. Zhukovskyy pleaded guilty to possession of the two drugs and was ordered to pay a $200 fine.
All of which prompts some important questions. If the father’s assertion is true that Zhukovskyy was just granted a green card, how on earth was he ever approved? And with such an extensive record, how was he never deported?
According to U.S. immigration laws, an immigrant can be deported for committing a deportable offense, which includes aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude.
A “crime of moral turpitude” is seen as a catch-all description that can apply to many types of crime if and when appropriate, according to NOLO.
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