Gov’t has failed us on im­mi­gra­tion

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OPINION - Chris Freind Colum­nist Chris Freind is an in­de­pen­dent colum­nist and com­men­ta­tor based in Philadel­phia. He can be reached at CF@FFZMe­

The fol­low­ing is part of the mis­sion state­ment of the Philadel­phia Prison Sys­tem:

“To pro­vide a se­cure cor­rec­tional en­vi­ron­ment that ad­e­quately de­tains per­sons ac­cused or con­victed of il­le­gal acts … and to pre­pare in­car­cer­ated per­sons for re-en­try into so­ci­ety.”

But which so­ci­ety? Given the stag­ger­ing num­ber of il­le­gal im­mi­grants in our pris­ons, both in Philadel­phia and na­tion­wide, that’s an im­por­tant ques­tion.

Com­mon sense dic­tates that af­ter an il­le­gal im­mi­grant serves his sen­tence, he should be repa­tri­ated to his home coun­try, but very often, that’s not what oc­curs. Fact is, many pris­on­ers re­leased into Amer­i­can so­ci­ety are for­eign­ers who A) are in this coun­try il­le­gally, and B) are vi­o­lent of­fend­ers. Un­fath­omably, this isn’t a loop­hole, but stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dure of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

Try fol­low­ing this “logic:” An il­le­gal alien is con­victed of a crime, does his time, and is handed over to ICE (Im­mi­gra­tions and Cus­toms En­force­ment). But in­stead of be­ing de­ported, the il­le­gal im­mi­grant (the key word be­ing “il­le­gal”) is re­leased back onto our streets. Why? Be­cause many coun­tries don’t want their con­victs repa­tri­ated, so they deny or de­lay the process of de­por­ta­tion. And since the Supreme Court ruled that the gov­ern­ment (bar­ring ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances), can only de­tain il­le­gals for up to 180 days, they are soon set free.

This has cre­ated a firestorm as thou­sands of Amer­i­cans have been vic­tim­ized — some pay­ing the ul­ti­mate price — at the hands of known crim­i­nals. These of­fend­ers should have been un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously shown the door, but weren’t — a tragic ex­am­ple of gov­ern­ment ne­glect­ing its pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­ity of pro­tect­ing its cit­i­zens. Sev­eral points to con­sider: 1) Why does Amer­ica al­low other na­tions to dic­tate what it can and can’t do with those here il­le­gally? It’s the hen emas­cu­lat­ing the sub­mis­sive fox, and it should be a hu­mil­i­a­tion to all Amer­i­cans, re­gard­less of their po­si­tions on broader im­mi­gra­tion is­sues.

2) Un­doc­u­mented crim­i­nal aliens are re-ar­rested at high mul­ti­ples, with some es­ti­mates peg­ging it at eight times per of­fender. And since we’re talk­ing about rob­bery, as­sault, mur­der, drugs, DUI, and sex crimes, has it dawned on our lead­ers that their in­ac­tion places many Amer­i­cans in grave dan­ger? In fact, one con­gress­man es­ti­mated that 13 Amer­i­can cit­i­zens are killed each day by il­le­gal im­mi­grants driv­ing drunk.

Not sur­pris­ingly, top ICE of­fi­cials in the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion tes­ti­fied that the re­cidi­vism rate among il­le­gal im­mi­grants was small — a claim that was proven false by the me­dia’s in­ves­tiga­tive re­port­ing. Bot­tom line: when Amer­i­cans are left won­der­ing whose in­ter­est the gov­ern­ment pri­or­i­tizes — cit­i­zens or il­le­gals — the sys­tem is truly bro­ken.

3) Most ironic, our gov­ern­ment is, in fact, com­mit­ting a crime ev­ery time it re­leases an il­le­gal alien. Since aid­ing and abet­ting crim­i­nals is against the law, then, by def­i­ni­tion, set­ting them free is con­sti­tutes a crime.

Var­i­ous gov­ern­ment agen­cies, from Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity to ICE, con­firm that hun­dreds of thou­sands of de­portable crim­i­nals have been, and will con­tinue to be, re­leased in Amer­ica rather than de­ported at the end of their sen­tences.

Given the mas­sive cost to house these peo­ple in prison — cour­tesy of the for­got­ten tax­payer — those with mi­nor of­fenses should have their sen­tences com­muted and be im­me­di­ately de­ported to their home coun­try. The same should ap­ply to the se­ri­ous of­fend­ers at the full con­clu­sion of their term.

But what if coun­tries do not co­op­er­ate, as is the now the case with many na­tions?

4) The so­lu­tion is sim­ple and re­mark­ably easy to ex­e­cute, yet has re­mained elu­sive due to decades of im­po­tent Con­gresses and ad­min­is­tra­tions. It’s called play­ing hard­ball:

“Amer­ica will re­turn your cit­i­zens — with mil­i­tary es­cort, if need be — and you will en­sure that they don’t re­turn to the United States. Ever. We’re not ask­ing per­mis­sion, but telling you ex­actly what will hap­pen.

The slight­est amount of non­co­op­er­a­tion will re­sult in the im­me­di­ate ter­mi­na­tion of for­eign aid, as well as the ces­sa­tion of all Amer­i­can visas to the cit­i­zens of your coun­try. Oh, and by the way, we’re still drop­ping off your con­victs. Choose wisely.”

There. Years of in­ep­ti­tude solved in 30 se­conds.

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