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Secure the border, stop crime: The criminal justice reform we really need

Conservative Review

Shouldn’t we all agree as a society that any immigrant engaging in criminality, much less fueling the drug overdose crisis, should be removed from the country, irrespective of one’s general views on immigration?

We can’t pick our citizens, but we can pick our immigrants. With so many wonderful people on God’s earth, is it too much to ask that we only admit law-abiding people and deport those who commit crimes? Yet, with the rise of sanctuary cities we have reached a point where the political class can’t even share this universal and easy-to-accomplish goal.

The illegal alien crime wave ignored by the media and politicians

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released its annual report on deportations and the numbers are startling. In FY 2018, ICE made 158,581 administrative arrests, of which 138,117 had a prior criminal record. The total of 542,798 criminal convictions and arrests accrued between these aliens is simply astounding.

The data doesn’t include those criminal charge categories that had fewer than 1,000 offenders.

This is mind-boggling. The sheer number of avoidable crimes from people that could easily be deterred from ever entering this country should shock our consciousness.

Every one of these crimes, by definition, is avoidable because the perpetrators shouldn’t be here in the first place, and indeed, wouldn’t be here if not for the magnets, lack of a border wall, and sanctuary cities and courts. Two thousand twenty-eight homicide offenses, 5,562 robberies, 11,766 weapons offenses, 50,753 assault charges, 76,585 dangerous drug charges, 80,730 DUIs, and over 12,000 sexual offenses. Just think for a moment about the immeasurable carnage caused by our senseless disregard for sovereignty and the number of nameless victims the media will never spotlight.

That is a violent crime, drug, and DUI crisis right there. And given that it’s hard enough to land convictions against Americans because of our weak justice system (which the elites want to make weaker), all of these crimes are more redressable because the offenders should have been deported right away.

Let’s not forget that these are just the crimes racked up by the group of criminal aliens apprehended in just one year by ICE. These figures are, more or less, the same year after year. And yet, proponents of jailbreak have the nerve to complain about too many criminals in the federal system? How about trying to enforce our sovereignty first and then see how many are in the federal system. In FY 2017, 40.7 percent of federal offenders were foreign nationals clogging up our justice system. The fact that 50 percent of all drug trafficking offenders in the federal system were Hispanic also demonstrates that even many of the citizens are roped into criminal alien networks engaging in drug trafficking at the primary level.

Let’s just explore the apprehensions of aliens convicted and charged for homicide. Two thousand twenty-eight is a shocking number given that, overall, 11,883 people were arrested for murder in 2017 (numbers for 2018 are not yet available). Does this prove that illegals, who represent 3.5 percent of the population commit 17 percent of all murders? Of course not. Obviously, the 2,028 alien homicide apprehensions were not just for murders that were actually committed in FY 2017 but in past years as well. However, by the same token, it’s not like ICE only arrested this number of alien murderers just in FY 2018, they do so almost every year. Also, not all the arrests in 2017 from the total universe of homicide suspects were for homicides committed that year either so it is closer to an apples-to-apples comparison than one might think and definitely demonstrates the ubiquitous nature of criminal alien violence.

But it’s worse than that.

Sanctuary cities are fueling drugs and crime  

If you want to know why the illegal alien crime problem, particularly for drug trafficking, is even worse than the ICE numbers indicate, we need to study sanctuary cities. Nowhere is the illegal alien crime wave as avoidable and more painful than with drug trafficking where illegal immigration and transnational crime organizations are the antecedent to the crisis. If we solve the immigration problem (the easiest criminal problem to solve) we solve much of the crime problem, the majority of the drug problem and all its cascading vices, and yes, we even solve the issue of the federal prison population.

Even under Trump’s ramped-up enforcement, apprehensions of criminal aliens by ICE are way down from what they were under Obama before he suspended enforcement after his first term. Although the numbers increased from the nadir in 2016, this chart from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) shows what happened when Obama suspended the Secure Communities program working with local law enforcement to apprehend criminal aliens.

[Obviously, 2018 data is incomplete, but we now know the number of detainers was 177,147 (page 9).]

As you can see, ICE detainers plummeted by 70 percent from 2012-2016. The most common charges for criminal aliens are DUIs and drug trafficking. There is your drug crisis beginning right around the same time, coupled with the timing of the border surge. All the criminal alien networks operating in sanctuary cities were able to operate out in the open without facing the destruction of their networks through deportation. Sanctuary politicians view drug trafficking as a “low level” crime even among Americans and won’t turn over criminal alien drug traffickers to ICE. Often, they go on to commit even worse crimes in other states.

Now that Trump has ramped up federal enforcement, sanctuary cities and states are refusing to cooperate even though there has been a change in the federal policy. One ICE agent told me, “I’d long to go back to even Obama’s era of enforcement relative to today’s sanctuary cities who won’t even turn over really bad criminal aliens.”

What the chart above demonstrates is that there are so many more illegal aliens committing crimes, particularly DUIs and drug trafficking, but likely even worse crimes, that are not being transferred over to ICE. This is why even with the ramped up enforcement from Trump, ICE detainers are still 43% lower than the peak of the Obama administration before he suspended Secure Communities. Thus, the extent of the criminal alien problem is much worse than the apprehension numbers that ICE indicates because they are not getting ahold of many of them.

Most illegals live in sanctuary jurisdictions that do not cooperate with ICE. Six out of 10 illegals live just in 20 metro areas, most of which are sanctuaries. Thus, there is no doubt that when it comes to the other categories of crime, especially assault, drug trafficking and drunk driving, the numbers could be two or three times as high. These cities release these criminal aliens so that ICE can’t apprehend them. For example, in California alone, the number of detainers plummeted from approximately 80,000 in 2011 to 15,000 in 2016 and have still not recovered to anywhere near pre-sanctuary levels. Can you imagine what the criminal alien arrest statistics would look like without sanctuary cities?

But it’s not just sanctuary cities, it’s also the sanctuary judges. Take a look at the administrative immigration judges who stayed deportations of so many dangerous aliens right around the same era and you will notice the same jarring trend:

Again, around the exact same time of the drug crisis, the number of deportations ordered by immigration judges plummeted and the number of reprieves skyrocketed. As you can see, the number of deportations ordered by immigration judges nationwide plummeted by 44 percent from 2011-2016, while the number of reprieves from deportation surged 51 percent over the same period. That’s a heck of a lot of drug traffickers, among other criminals. Notice the trajectory has, thankfully, gone back the other way since Trump took over. This is an enduring legacy of the work of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions who clamped down on these judges at the Department of Justice.

The numbers are even more telling in sanctuary states. Massachusetts is a sanctuary state and also one of the hardest hit states from the illicit drug crisis. In addition, the sanctuary of Lawrence, Massachusetts, which harbors numerous Dominican alien gangs, according to drug and immigration officers I’ve spoken to, serves as the gateway to the drug crisis in New Hampshire and Maine. Take a look at the number of ICE detentions plummeting from 2011-2016 as compared to the number of drug deaths skyrocketing:

Detainers were cut back to one-third of their previous levels by the end of Obama’s tenure! Again, a heck of a lot of drug traffickers were kept on the streets. This is why drug overdose deaths also tripled over the same period of time.

Around the same time the border surge enabled drug cartels to get rich off smuggling and also tactically bring in more drugs, the sanctuaries provided nourishment in the interior of the country for their distribution networks. But all of this is so avoidable if we only followed the laws. It’s one thing for illegals to evade detection and successfully enter the country illegally. It’s quite another for them to successfully evade detection in perpetuity and operate lucrative networks inside our own country.

Consequently, it’s incontrovertibly clear that criminal aliens are the driving force behind the drug crisis and much of the other crime on the federal level. Yet, rather than unifying behind a message to deport criminal aliens, end sanctuary cities, build the wall, and end the magnets and loopholes, most Republicans and phony outside “conservative” organizations funded by the Koch addiction joined with every single Democrat to advance a bill that will provide early release and reduced sentencing for these very people!

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