By Pawel Styrna, May 4, 2022
A report recently released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) revealed that the estimated illegal alien population in the United States increased by approximately 1 million individuals during 2021, jumping from 14.5 to 15.5 million. In addition to rising costs – which have jumped by almost $10 billion, reaching at least $143.1 billion – we are also very likely to see an increase in illegal alien crime, due to a combination of sheer numbers coming in and the Biden administration’s de facto gutting of internal immigration enforcement, including most criminal aliens. After all, illegal aliens are rational actors that respond to incentives and disincentives, and Biden’s policies send a very welcoming message to foreign criminals contemplating sneaking into the U.S. illegally as well as those who have already done so under his watch.
First, a disclaimer: none of this is to suggest that all (or even most) illegal aliens are criminals. Illegal migration advocates frequently attempt to change the subject whenever illegal alien crime is rightfully discussed by dishonestly accusing anyone daring to mention the subject of conflating the two categories.
However, we must also avoid naïvely stereotyping all illegal aliens as benign. All illegal aliens have demonstrated their lack of respect for the rule of law by violating U.S. immigration laws – even if they are simply looking for a better economic situation. Moreover, as FAIR research demonstrates, unauthorized foreign nationals are three times as likely to be incarcerated (for non-immigration-related offenses) than native-born Americans and legal immigrants. And among those who are released by sanctuary jurisdictions, between 40 and 80 percent reoffend, according to an ICE official’s Senate testimony in October 2019. FAIR has also documented many of the heinous, preventable crimes committed by illegal aliens in the United States.
Attempts to gloss over any connections between illegal migration and crime ignore the obvious fact that criminals are certainly a part of the illegal immigration flow into our country. Logic dictates that the greater the unlawful flow, the more bad guys manage to sneak into our nation. For example, U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended 4,600 illegal border crossers with convictions for crimes such as murder, rape, drunk driving, or drug trafficking in FY 2021. That is the highest total since FY2016.
Also, the estimated number of “got-aways” grew fourfold (from 105,000 to 400,000) between FY2020 and FY2021. Got-aways are much more likely to be engaged in criminal activities, according to Border Patrol union rep Ron Boren. “I would say a lot of them are undesirables, the criminal aliens who have been convicted in the United States, the guys convicted of rape, theft, multiple DUIs, and lord knows whatever else.”
President Biden’s policies that tie the hands of ICE also make the U.S. a much more attractive destination for illegal alien criminals while making the lives of those already here easier. Biden and his director of homeland security, the pro-mass-migration ideologue Alejandro Mayorkas, have worked hard to turn the U.S. into one large sanctuary nation. In FY2021 more than 16,000 illegal aliens with non-immigration-related criminal charges or convictions were released, according to an ICE report. And while apprehension numbers and “got-aways” have been off the charts, deportations have been at historic lows. Last fiscal year, only 59,000 were deported, half of which occurred under Trump – a sharp drop from 186,000 removals in FY2020 and 267,000 in FY2019.
Permissive, soft-on-crime policies in America’s large cities and the reckless open-border, anti-ICE measures of the Biden administration are two sides of the same lawless coin. Rather than being compassionate (as they claim), they are callous and expose people – not only citizens but also legal immigrants and, quite often, also illegal aliens – to harm in the name of an ideology that views criminal illegal aliens as people who deserve protection from deportation.
This article was originally published by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.