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March 19, 2024

In Brief: Biden’s Border Crisis Is Also a Crime Crisis

Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas opened the border — and helped unleash a national crime wave.

As Mark Alexander and Nate Jackson have recently outlined, Democrats love to obfuscate the connection between illegal immigration and crime. Tennessee Republican Representative Mark Green knows the score.

Under the failed leadership of President Joe Biden and his now-impeached Department of Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a new crime wave is sweeping the nation — one that can be traced back to the historic influx of illegal aliens. The tragic death of 22-year-old Laken Riley, allegedly at the hands of a Venezuelan illegal alien paroled into the country in 2022, has shocked the national conscience and driven home this reality.

The numbers are alarming.

Criminal aliens are increasingly seeking to exploit the wide-open Southwest border. Since the start of fiscal year (FY) 2021, the Border Patrol has recorded 43,674 arrests of illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds, a 99 percent increase from FY2017–20 combined. According to Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens, “hardened criminals often hide in smuggled migrant groups,” trying to take advantage of overwhelmed Border Patrol agents. By October 2023, agents were apprehending around 47 illegal aliens with “serious criminal histories” per day.

There are now more than 617,000 criminal illegal aliens on the Non-Detained Docket who have been released into our communities to await the outcome of their cases, up from 407,983 in January 2023.

And these are just the ones being caught. With thousands of agents pulled off the border to process and release illegal aliens in the United States, roughly 2 million aliens have entered the country uncaught, and are now at large in our communities — and we know nothing about their backgrounds or intentions.

No, there’s still no database connecting the dots between illegals and crime, but that doesn’t mean there’s no evidence.

One New York County official recently testified to the House Committee on Homeland Security, “We have seen an increase in crime, basically because you have these organized gangs that are part of the drug cartels from Mexico and other countries who have come to the metropolitan area.” He also noted that many crimes were being committed by illegal aliens to pay back debts owed to the criminal cartels.

Americans suffer from the dereliction of our leaders.

The victims of these crimes are ordinary Americans — a teenager in southern Virginia sexually assaulted by an illegal alien earlier this year. A teenage girl in Prattville, Ala., sexually assaulted last May. Another police officer, struck and gruesomely injured during a traffic stop last August. Kayla Hamilton, a 20-year-old raped and killed by an illegal-alien gang member in Maryland in July 2022.

All were crimes committed by illegal aliens released into the country on Secretary Mayorkas’s watch.

Green concludes:

At the same time, every illegal crossing is itself a crime, one that has downstream consequences for our communities, as illegal aliens place additional burdens on American citizens and legal immigrants alike.

Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden could end this crisis — and prevent untold future tragedies — by simply enforcing the law.

National Review subscribers can read the whole thing here.

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