Trump's illegal immigrant database will expose national scope of crimes
© Getty

President Trump triggered the “groan heard round the world” last night from a handful of vocal politicians during his address to a joint session of Congress. Curiously, the rumbling occurred when he announced he would “give a voice” to the thousands who had needlessly suffered at the hands of illegal immigrants and whose stories had been largely ignored by the media and the federal government.

At the Federation for American Immigration Reform, we’ve produced a video that explains the good news/bad news scenario faced by the public due to this problem.

Specifically, President Trump intends to create an office within the Department of Homeland Security to begin collecting and making publicly available a database on crimes committed by removable immigrants.  The office would also provide proactive, timely, adequate, and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens and the family members of such victims.

ADVERTISEMENT
For decades, the lack of a national database on illegal immigrant crime has allowed open-border advocates and cheap-labor cheerleaders to argue that “immigrant” crime is negligible by conflating legal immigrants with illegal aliens.  This intentional deception is done to advance a false narrative that from a cost-benefit perspective, legal and illegal immigration is a win-win situation for everyone.  

 

Clearly, the collective gasp by these advocates and cheerleaders during the public address underscored their recognition that the soon-to-be collected data would indeed be damning for their case. Certain states already collect data on crimes committed by removable aliens, offering a glimpse of what the national outlook might look like.  If the information from these states is any indication of the size and scope of the problem, the American public will soon be incensed.  

The Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) recently reported that Texas alone has arrested more than 212,000 criminal aliens who have committed more than half a million crimes in the state since June 1, 2011.  The arrests have already resulted in more than 251,000 convictions, with many potential convictions still pending in the court system.

And roughly 66 percent — two out of three of those arrested — were in this country illegally. The 212,000 criminal aliens arrested committed crimes ranging from drug-related cases to assault and obstructing justice.  But a strikingly large number of convictions, 6,861, were for heinous crimes like homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, and weapons charges.

Recent data out of Oregon — not exactly the nexus of high immigration — shows that a single county, Marion, housed 239 of the 955 criminal aliens incarcerated in the state’s prison system.  Nearly 70 percent of inmates were involved in crimes that included sex abuse, rape, sodomy, homicide, or assault.

Although the data fail to reveal the legal status of the criminal aliens, it demonstrates that in that single Oregon county alone, residents were harmed or victimized by criminal aliens from more than a dozen different countries.

The president also promised the families and widows of two California law enforcement officers, Michael Davis, Jr., and Danny Oliver, who were murdered by an illegal immigrant in the line of duty, that their loved ones did not perish in vain.  Their names were memorialized in the 114th Congress by the Davis-Oliver Act, an interior enforcement bill, which aims to increase cooperation between federal and local officials in the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.

Specifically, the bill would provide local law enforcement the critical resources needed to create a web of enforcement against illegal immigration, while also imposing stiff penalties against local governments that obstruct immigration enforcement.  All law enforcement agencies have an ethical obligation to work cooperatively to protect the safety and security of the citizens they are sworn to serve.

Passage of Davis-Oliver, in addition to Trump’s vow to use all federal resources available to crack down on sanctuary cities, will work in tandem to enhance public safety throughout the nation.

Both during his campaign and now as president, Trump has demonstrated that he understands that immigration is not a one-sided ledger.  Yes, there are benefits, but there are certainly costs as well.  And in doing this, he is not only prodding the nation to rethink its approach to immigration policy, but is also offering a platform to many Americans whose vital interests and safety have long been neglected by their government.

Dan Stein is president, Federation for American Immigration Reform.


The views of contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.