WASHINGTON—Getting justice after someone kills a loved one can be an empty process at the best of times. But for those whose loved ones were killed by illegal aliens, justice is often scarce and weighted toward the perpetrators. And the porous southwest border doesn’t guarantee that those who get deported, stay deported.
Aileen Smith has no idea if the man who killed her baby and debilitated her is back in the United States. She said Ramon Hernandez, a Honduran national, had lived here illegally for years after overstaying his visa.
“Prior to his deportation, while in litigation with us, he made it very apparent—he said it openly—that he had no intention of staying gone, that he would just come right back,” Smith said.
Hernandez’s driver’s license had been revoked 12 years prior to the crash and he had seven DUIs, three of which occurred after his license was revoked.
On June 10, 2012, Smith, who was seven months pregnant, and her husband were driving from Colorado Springs to San Diego for the baby shower for their first child. The crash happened on a New Mexico highway, when Hernandez cut across the road in front of the Smiths.
Smith bore the brunt of the impact and was pinned inside the vehicle.
“I broke my sternum in two places, had mass internal bleeding, I shredded my kidneys, my abdominal wall, my uterine wall, of course, being seven months pregnant, and my water broke,” Smith said. “I was rushed to Saint Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where my son, Dimitri, was born alive and died a minute later due to massive head injury and bleeding on the brain.”
Smith was told she, too, almost died and that it was unlikely she’d have more kids.
“I’m thoroughly disabled from the crash. I mean, just this last year, my internal organs collapsed and I had to go have reconstructive surgery for that. And I’m still dealing with the effects of what happened,” she said.