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Horowitz: The federal government has forfeited all power over immigration enforcement

Op-ed
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This year the Biden administration has orchestrated the most widespread invasion of illegal aliens at our border on record. At the same time, the number of arrests and deportations in the interior have plummeted to the lowest level in recent memory. As such, the federal government is the entity that has seceded from the compact established in 1789. States should respond in kind by doing what it takes to rid themselves of other countries' criminals at any and all costs.

According to a new ICE report, in fiscal year 2021, ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) made about 72,000 administrative arrests, down from an average of 140,000 from 2017 through 2019. What this means in plain English is that our own government has left tens of thousands of violent criminals from other countries on our streets, declining to do its most foundational job of protecting us from foreign threats.

It's not like the arrest and removal numbers were low because of a lack of illegal fish in the pond. This year, nearly two million illegal aliens were apprehended at our borders, over 1.7 million of whom were caught at the southwest border, which is the most on record. Our federal government has essentially dissolved the sovereignty of the entire union by forfeiting its power over the one unifying national policy that was designed to keep all 50 states safe from an invasion.

It's truly hard to overstate the reduction in the number of illegal alien criminals in this country committing completely avoidable crimes if our federal government merely did its job. As of last year – before the biggest influx of all time – there were 3.26 million aliens on ICE's undetained docket. These are individuals who have been targeted by ICE for removal, which most likely means the overwhelming majority have criminal records in addition to immigration violations. That means over 3 million criminal aliens who were dangerous enough to be on ICE's radar remain in the country indefinitely without being deported. That number has obviously swelled under the Biden administration, with its de facto moratorium on interior enforcement as border enforcement against the new flow collapsed entirely.

As of 2018, there were more than 1 million illegal aliens who have already received final deportation orders, with another 1.5 million having already received deportation orders but in the process of seeking an appeal. The case of an illegal alien allegedly raping an impaired woman on a Philadelphia commuter train as onlookers did nothing to stop the person is perhaps a grisly but apt metaphor for what has become of our union. States have done nothing to pick up the slack from the lack of federal enforcement of our national sovereignty, claiming their hands are tied when the feds refuse to remove convicted sex offenders, as this Philadelphia alleged rapist was not deported despite such a conviction. Are states at the mercy of the federal government's abandonment of our most foundational laws and tenets of the social compact?

Just this past Saturday, a 5-year-old girl in Polk County was killed by an alleged drunk driver who was in this country illegally from Guatemala. Drunk driving is a pervasive problem among illegal aliens and takes the lives of countless Americans every year. Yet none of them would die if we merely enforced our laws against illegal aliens. How bad does it have to get before the states take up the slack?

If red states truly cut off all the magnets, ensuring that illegal aliens could not obtain benefits and get jobs within the states, they would move on to the blue states and leave the red states alone. Red states must be willing to form a compact and agree to enforce the laws together and ignore illegal and illogical federal court rulings forcing red states to offer benefits to illegal aliens while they greenlight blue states violating federal immigration law every day. They must publish information quantifying the costs and crimes incurred by illegal immigration and provide citizens with a cause of action in state court against local officials who cause harm through sanctuary policies.

Our founders promised the citizens of this country a Constitution that would "insure domestic Tranquility" and "provide for the common defense" as a means to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." What we are seeing today is a government that secures the curse of tyranny domestically, while failing to protect us from foreign threats. If the federal government is going to abrogate the entire purpose of its existence, states should pick up where they left off before that preamble was written.
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