July 9— The government said today it has arrested nearly 90 illegal aliens who were still living in the United States after serving time for sex crimes against children.
Winchell's agents in the Northwest have recently arrested 118 convicted alien sex offenders and placed an additional 13 "detainers" on violators currently incarcerated for crimes of sexual exploitation in those states.
But is it really as good as it sounds? What is missing is the context of the larger problem of illegal immigrant criminals. Let us fill in some of that context.
The Department of Homeland Security has announced Operation Predator to go after those who prey in children.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Homeland Security today announced Operation Predator, a comprehensive DHS initiative designed to enhance the Administration's efforts to protect children from pornographers, child prostitution rings, Internet predators, alien smugglers, human traffickers, and other criminals. The President has made it clear that anyone who harms a child will be a priority target of law enforcement in this Administration.
"Operation Predator integrates the Department's authorities to target those who exploit children," said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "The Department of Homeland Security is coordinating the Department's once-fragmented investigative and intelligence resources into a united campaign against child predators."
The Department's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will house the initiative from its headquarters in Washington, D.C., coordinating all field enforcement actions from the ICE CyberSmuggling Center in Fairfax, Virginia. Operation Predator draws on the full spectrum of cyber, intelligence, investigative, and detention & removal functions of ICE to target those who exploit children.
"There is nothing more important than protecting our children - the future of our nation. Through Operation Predator, ICE is in a unique position to carry out this critical responsibility," said Michael J. Garcia, Acting Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
ICE is partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to facilitate the exchange of information on missing children, as well as investigative and intelligence leads. For the first time an ICE Senior Special Agent has been assigned to NCMEC to coordinate leads developed by NCMEC that require ICE law enforcement capabilities. In addition, ICE will work with the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Justice to partner with NCMEC in an effort to develop a National Child Victim Identification Program.
"Combating child victimization in all its forms requires the cooperation and collaboration of law enforcement personnel worldwide," stated NCMEC President Ernie Allen. "Operation Predator strengthens the combined efforts of law enforcement agencies to investigate and apprehend those who prey upon children, while providing the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the public the tools to assist with identifying perpetrators and reporting crimes."
Surely this effort will yield some benefit. Many children who otherwise would have been victims of these deported predators will not be. So far, so good.
US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge says the US government will pursue more vigorously the deportation of illegal immigrant criminals.
So now, Mike has the personnel to do far more in this area than he's ever had before, and clearly, with the concerted effort, we know there are illegals on the street or those who have done their time who are back out on the street, and we go after them and deport them, and now with this concerted effort, when the last day of their sentence has expired, we'll meet them at the front door of the prison and escort them to the border.
So again, we bring these resources together and make sure the information is shared. We've got more people to act on it. We don't guarantee a fail-safe perfect system, but it is a real plus-up, is really an enhancement of our ability to enforce the law, deport those who, because of these crimes, having done their time here, are therefore eligible and should and must and will be deported, and again, Mike will have additional people to do it because of the merger of the agencies.
You might be thinking this all sounds wonderful. After all, it is an improvement. But pay close attention to this excerpt from DOJ official Mike Garcia:
MR.. GARCIA: Yeah, but in terms of resources, your question to the Secretary, I think also today's announcement is about prioritization.
So while we have 50,000 criminal alien absconders, we are now prioritizing those with violent crimes, those sexual predators, and particularly those predators who prey on children.
The same with the institutional removal program, where we go to prisons to make sure that violent felons don't hit the streets. We're now prioritizing our efforts in that area, to target sexual predators, to target predators that prey on children, and make sure that those people do not leave the prison and go back out on the streets.
Stop and think about this. There are at least 50,000 illegal aliens (probably more, see below) who have been released from prisons in the US and not immediately deported. The DOJ is going to target the subset that are classified as sexual predators. That part is great. But what about the rest of them?
Look even more closely at what Garcia said. The Department of Justice is going to prioritize their efforts to deport illegal aliens yet to be released from prison. They are not saying that all illegal aliens currently in prison will be when their prison terms are completed. That is incredible. There are thousands of illegal aliens in prison and so government agencies have control of them. The government is supposed to deport them when their prison terms are up. But the best the US Department of Homeland Security can offer is that the federal government will place a higher priority on the deportation of those classified as predators.
Those 50,000 illegals released from prison probably represent only a subset of those illegal aliens who have committed crimes and not been deported. The government does not try that hard to detect illegals and many are probably passing as US citizens even as they pass thru the criminal justice system.
In fact, there are reasons to believe that the 50,000 person figure is low by a whole order of magnitude. US House Representative Tom Tancredo (R CO) thinks there may be half a million illegal aliens in America who have been released from prison.
There is good reason to take a special look at these so-called sanctuary cities like Los Angeles, because it is the largest city in the largest State of the Nation. A few years ago, the INS found that 40 percent of illegal immigrants go to California, and other cities have shown that a third of their illegal aliens go to Los Angeles. Thus, what happens in Los Angeles directly affects the rest of this country.
It happens that in 2000, the County of Los Angeles did a thorough study of the impact of criminal aliens on the Los Angeles County jail system. They recently shared a copy of this report with me. Among other things, they found that, first, during the decade of 1990 to 2000, the number of illegal aliens in the county jail system doubled from 11 to 23 percent. The cost impact on the county jail system also doubled from 75 million to 150 million. This is only the cost of jail administration and does not include the cost of routine police patrols and investigative activities.
The Federal SCAP program, that State Criminal Assistance Program that reimburses local jails for the cost of detention being held for deportation does not adequately cover all on the costs. The recidivism rate among criminal aliens deported is 40 percent. That means 40 percent of them return and commit more crime. There are a significant number of Federal prosecutions by the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles against recidivist criminal aliens. Only 350 such cases were prosecuted in 1998 compared to 2,400 in San Diego and 3,000 in Phoenix, which is a much smaller city.
A GAO study in 1997 concluded that the INS process for identifying and processing criminal aliens in jail and subject to deportation was so flawed and underfunded that more than half of the criminals who should be deported are not, and they are released back into society. The percentage of jail inmates in Los Angeles who are deportable aliens rose from 11 percent to 17 percent in June 1995 and 23 percent in January of 2000.
One INS study cited by the Los Angeles County report showed that INS identified only 65 percent of the inmates who were, in fact, subject to deportation orders and thus placed on a detainer list. That means that all of the numbers of inmates on the whole list need to be adjusted upward by one half to get to the true number of aliens in the penal system who are subject to deportation.It is fair to speculate that for the Nation as a whole this number is over 500,000 over the past decade, a half million criminal aliens who should have been deported but instead were released into society to commit more crimes.
Also, look at the bigger picture. There are over 300,000 illegal aliens who have defied court orders for their deportation. There are several million (perhaps 8 million, perhaps 10 million, but no one really knows) illegal aliens in the country total. The latest US government initiative is a pretty lame response to the bigger problem of illegal aliens. It isn't even adequate to deal with the illegal aliens who are currently in jail, let alone the illegal aliens released from jail or the illegals who have been ordered deported.
US House Representative Charles Norwood, a fairly consistent supporter of tougher immigration laws and a member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, is co-sponsoring the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act.
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Charlie Norwood and bipartisan allies introduced far-reaching legislation Wednesday to enlist local police nationwide in an effort to deport immigration law violators, especially those who are convicted criminals.
The Georgia Republican said he was prompted by the case of Miguel Angelo Gordoba, an illegal Mexican immigrant who spent four years in prison for molesting a 3-year-old girl in Alma, Ga. After his prison term ended in August 2001, Gordoba was released instead of being deported, as required by federal law.
Another Congressman from Georgia is upset by repeat offenders who get brought to court multiple times and yet are not deported.
WASHINGTON - Congressman Nathan Deal says criminal illegal immigrants have become the number one issue for law enforcement officers and the courts in his north Georgia district, which includes Gainesville and most of northeast Georgia.
The U.S. Justice Department estimated four years ago that there were 678,000 state and local police officers nationwide.
"The federal immigration service has 2,000 investigators (the agents engaged in enforcement) out of its 37,000 employees," Edwards said, adding that the U.S. Border Patrol is deployed "almost exclusively along the border."
If local police were authorized and instructed to pick up and hold any illegal aliens they encountered and if the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, formerly the INS) was staffed at a level sufficient to come and get and deport the illegals as fast as they were taken into custody then the number of illegal aliens in the United States would decline quite dramatically.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 July 10 07:17 PM Immigration Law Enforcement|