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Is Illegal Alien Crime Declining?

By Greg L | 5 July 2017 | Illegal Aliens, Crime | No Comments

Of the 22 murders in Prince William County in 2016, eight of them were at the hands of persons known to be illegal aliens.  The press  also reports that 1 of the 10 persons arrested for rape in the county were illegal aliens as well.  Gee, the press would have you think that crime coming from illegal aliens is becoming less and less of a problem now, wouldn’t you?  Well, that’s what some folks want you to think.

The problem here is that Prince William County lost all visibility over whether an arrestee was an illegal alien back in 2012 when the federal government under the Obama Administration terminated the Section 287(g) program.  Before then, law enforcement officials were able to verify a suspect’s immigration status when they were taken into custody using federal resources under the supervision of an ICE agent.  If the individual was foreign-born and had a record of legal entry, was admitted as a nonresident or resident alien, or naturalized as a citizen, he was known to be a legal alien.  The absence of such a record indicated he was an illegal alien, and that system swept up illegal aliens by the thousands.  It worked very well.

That wasn’t good enough for the Obama Administration however, and they instituted the “secure communities” program, which is what we got stuck with starting in 2013.  That allowed law enforcement to query a different database, where if a person had been previously adjudicated as an illegal alien they got flagged.  A “no record” meant, well, whatever, and lots of illegal aliens fell into that bucket.  As a result the statistics on illegal alien arrests in the county nosedived because only those who had been previously deported, arrested for an illegal entry, or put into removal proceedings was identified as an illegal alien.

Still, that wasn’t good enough for the Obama administration and they threw that system out and instituted the “priority enforcement program” where law enforcement had no direct access to any databases whatsoever, but they could ask ICE to see what they had in certain cases.  Usually ICE did run records requests on serious felons, but using the same system from “secure communities” where a whole bunch of illegal aliens who hadn’t been previously encountered by law enforcement were never identified.  To the extent illegal aliens were ever identified, it was because sometimes they actually volunteered their status, rather than had their status determined by any system that would seem remotely rigorous.  If they didn’t fess up, the chances were quite slim anyone would ever determine whether they were an illegal alien or not.

So now in the age of Trump, what do we have?  The same thing we had at the end of the Obama administration.  The only talk about having Prince William County re-enter the Section 287(g) Program only happens when someone is running for office and wants to generate some earned media.  After the press conference, everything goes back to normal, which is to say that virtually nothing happens.  As for the federal government, Trump could reinstate the Section 287(g) Program tomorrow and restore all the agreements previously made with localities across the country, since it exists as a legal statute passed by Congress back in 1986, but for some reason that hasn’t happened.

The end result is that we’ve had murders skyrocket in the past year and the police department gets to put out misleading arrest statistics without ever explaining to the public what those numbers actually mean or any of the context by which we could determine whether those statistics are reliable or not.  Oh, we’re told, illegal alien crime isn’t that much of a problem.  Well, how about we bother to actually find out whether arrested suspects are actually illegal aliens before we start making such claims that seem to defy what our own personal observations testify to?

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