The nation's murder rate rose slightly last year, but the number of robberies skyrocketed by 6 percent, preliminary FBI data released Monday show. The rise in violent crime is especially prevalent in the suburbs and in smaller cities.

While nobody is talking about this now, I believe that it will become an issue in the elections next year, and that it is having an impact on the current debate on immigration.

The backers of the immigration bill should take this dynamic into consideration if they want to truly understand what is driving the anti-immigrant sentiment in the current debate.

Criminal gangs from Latin America are having an impact on the nation’s crime rate. They should be targeted and destroyed. Their members should be deported and pressure should be put on their home-country governments to help us stop illegal gang activity.

These gangs are importing illegal drugs, selling counterfeit goods (such as prescription drugs, DVDs and CDs), exploiting and intimidating their fellow immigrants and killing and robbing innocent Americans.

Most Americans support those hard-working immigrants who simply want a chance at the American Dream. They support those who take on the hard, dirty jobs that few Americans want. What they don’t understand is how we allow entire criminal enterprises into our country. They want us to close the borders to the law-breakers, the drug-dealers, the hoodlums, the murderers and the rapists.

The presidential election will feature two different philosophies when it comes to crime control. The one theory, popularized by President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage Trump expected to bring Hunter Biden's former business partner to debate Davis: On eve of tonight's debate — we've seen this moment in history before MORE, is the “midnight basketball approach”. This concept is that you have kids play basketball instead of commit crimes. It is a softer way to fight crime. The other theory, employed by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani in New York, is the “broken windows” approach. This concept says that you rigidly enforce the law, even jaywalking and anti-graffiti laws.

I believe that the Giuliani approach will be more popular with the voters, especially if crime continues to rise. After all, it worked in the Big Apple.

With John Conyers Jr. (Mich.) as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and with Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as Speaker, the Democrats are exceedingly vulnerable on this issue. My advice to Republicans is to start putting the Democrats on the spot now on how they would fight crime. I believe this can be a winner for the GOP.