As a retired law enforcement official, I can say with absolute certainty that keeping American communities safe requires a secure border.
American citizens have been exposed to the repercussions of mass illegal immigration for decades, and by now we’ve all heard about “angel moms” whose children have been killed by criminal illegal aliens, rising gang violence in our cities, and “sanctuary” policies that release dangerous criminals onto the streets in order to prevent the federal government from enforcing immigration law. The heart-wrenching stories of people such as Kate Steinle, the San Francisco woman shot and killed by an illegal alien in 2015, and Mary Ann Mendoza, the Arizona mother whose police officer son was killed by a drunk-driving illegal alien with a lengthy criminal record, illustrate the true consequences of our broken immigration system.
Data supports their testimonials. According to a Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR) report, illegal immigrants are at least three times more likely to be incarcerated than legal immigrants and American citizens. The study looked at 10 states with large illegal alien populations that report reliable statistics, and found that illegal immigrants are incarcerated at significantly higher rates in every single one of them.
In Texas, 175,000 illegal immigrants were booked in local jails from 2011 to 2018 and charged with more than 250,000 crimes, including 505 homicides, 30,408 assaults, 5,396 burglaries, 34,555 drug offenses, and 365 kidnappings. Incredibly, Texas is actually on the low end, with illegal aliens “only” 60 percent more likely to wind up behind bars — though FAIR notes that this figure may be lower due to federal immigration enforcement efforts at the border. The disparity is much greater in interior states such as New Jersey, Washington, and Oregon, exceeding 200 percent in all of those states. In my own home state of New Jersey, illegal aliens are 440 percent more likely to be imprisoned than other residents.
The statistics paint a clear picture: illegal immigration makes Americans less safe.
The recent murder of nine American citizens in Mexico offers a tragic reminder that much of that country is in a state of anarchy characterized by rampant violence and corruption. Without a secure border, the gangs and drug cartels terrorizing Mexico are free to export their particularly brutal brand of violence to the United States.
Stopping illegal immigration is central to the government’s obligation to secure our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. President Trump takes that obligation seriously, and his efforts have succeeded in reducing illegal immigration significantly in spite of Democrat obstructionism. While still at crisis levels, the number of apprehensions on the southern border has decreased precipitously in recent months. In October, apprehensions were down to 45,250 — nearly 100,000 fewer than in May. Based on estimates of illegal alien incarceration rates, which average around 1.5 percent, the president’s border security initiatives kept roughly 1,500 criminals from entering the country in just a single month.
Law enforcement officers make incredible sacrifices every single day to keep the American people safe. Securing the border is a common-sense way to support their efforts by keeping dangerous criminals from entering the country in the first place.
Steven Rogers (@LTStevenlRogers) is a retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer and a former member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. He is a member of the Donald J. Trump for President 2020 Campaign Advisory Board.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.