The recent killing of 20-year-old Maryland resident Kayla Marie Hamilton is another reminder of the human cost anti-border policies impose on the American public.
A 17-year-old illegal alien allegedly strangled Hamilton earlier this month. Authorities believe he is a member of the notorious MS-13 gang. By all accounts, Hamilton, who had autism, was overcoming her disability, and thriving in life. She had just moved to Aberdeen, Maryland to be with her 22-year-old boyfriend before her death. Now, a young woman is gone, two parents are without their child, and a young man has lost his girlfriend. The tragedy and the hurt were completely preventable.
Hamilton’s death is the latest in a long line of tragedies caused by anti-border policies in the United States In 2015, Kate Steinle lost her life while on a walk in San Francisco’s pier. Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate, who had been deported five times, was acquitted of murder, although he was found guilty of federal weapons charges in relation to the incident.
In 2018, 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts was murdered in rural Iowa by Cristhian Bahena Rivera, an illegal alien from Mexico who worked as a farmhand. Rivera was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2021.
Although we don’t know the identity of the suspect or exactly how Hamilton’s suspected killer entered the United States, we do know that shortly after taking office, the Biden Administration exempted unaccompanied minors from Title 42. As a result, at least 300,000 unaccompanied minors have illegally crossed the border since Joe Biden took office despite the COVID-19 emergency, and eight out of every ten have been released into the interior of the country.
Apart from creating the obvious incentive for parents to send their children alone on a treacherous journey to the United States, the policy has created another issue that many politicians seem unaware of: the release of young, single, impoverished men – the very demographic group that commits the most crime – into small American communities that are simply not equipped to deal with them. It is a policy that places American communities in danger from MS-13 and other transnational gangs and the brutality they inflict on their victims.
MS-13 and other gangs are largely populated by teenage males from broken homes who are violently initiated – often as minors. In America, these gangs even recruit at local high schools. While everyone has compassion for young people coerced into making the dangerous journey to the southern border, policymakers must realize that some minor aliens are potentially dangerous too.
Policymakers must stop minimizing the threats that transnational gangs such as MS-13 pose to the American public and downplaying the border crisis. Young, single, impoverished males – a large proportion of border crossers – are much more likely to be part of violent gangs or enter a life of crime in the United States. They must adjust vetting accordingly. American leaders owe it to the families of Kate Steinle, Mollie Tibbetts, Kayla Hamilton, and countless others, to put politics aside and keep the country safe. This requires securing the border, and deporting people who enter illegally, even if they are unaccompanied minors. Continuing to import violent criminals (who are not wanted in their own countries) or those who could potentially become so out of desperation or gang influence is a recipe for anarchy and tragedy.
Kayla Hamilton is the latest young woman to lose her life to unscrupulous politicians’ unwillingness to secure the border, and every death caused by illegal immigration is a policy failure. These tragedies show that illegal immigration doesn’t just affect border states or major cities, but all of America, from small-town Iowa to Chicago, Maryland/Virginia, and New York City. Every part of the country has been touched by this crisis, and every state, city, and town has a stake in ending it.
William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.