Last Friday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement did something they should be doing 24/7: enforce federal immigration laws. Last Friday, they did a massive raid in Los Angeles, where they nabbed over 200 illegal aliens, most with criminal convictions. Over 100 businesses also have to prove that they aren’t hiring illegal aliens (via Washington Times):
Federal deportation officers staged one of the biggest enforcement actions in years against businesses in Los Angeles this week, arresting 212 people and serving audit notices to 122 businesses who will have to prove they aren’t hiring illegal immigrants.
Nearly all of those arrested were convicted criminals, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE said it targeted Los Angeles because it’s a sanctuary city, meaning it refuses to fully cooperate with federal authorities on deportations from within its jails.
Pew Research noted that 74 percent of illegal aliens arrested by ICE in 2017 had criminal records, most relating to drunk driving:
Immigrants with past criminal convictions accounted for 74% of all arrests made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in fiscal 2017, according to data from the agency. The remainder were classified as “non-criminal” arrestees, including 16% with pending criminal charges and 11% with no known criminal convictions or charges.
Among ICE arrestees in 2017 with prior convictions, the most common criminal conviction category was driving under the influence of alcohol (59,985 convictions, or 16% of the total), followed by possessing or selling “dangerous drugs” such as opioids (57,438, or 15%). Immigration offenses, which include illegal entry or false claim to U.S. citizenship, were the third-most common crime type (52,128 convictions, or 14%). Those arrested can have more than one type of conviction or pending charge so the total number of charges and convictions is greater than the total number of arrestees; ICE counts an immigrant with a prior criminal conviction and pending criminal charges only in the criminal conviction category.
For ICE arrestees with pending criminal charges in 2017, general traffic offenses topped the list of most common charges (24,438, or 17% of all charges), followed by driving under the influence of alcohol (20,562, or 14%) and possession or selling of “dangerous drugs” (19,065, or 13%). Pending immigration violations were the fifth-most common charge (10,389, or 7%).
Assault ranked among the five most common pending criminal charges and conviction categories for ICE arrestees in 2017, accounting for 11% and 8% respectively.
There’s a new sheriff in town on this issue with President Trump, who was catapulted to the top of the GOP field for his tough stance on immigration. At the same time, it’s a stance that has Congress in a bind, as both sides failed to reach a deal on immigration last week. Yet, Trump’s offer was generous: 1.8 million illegals to receive a pathway to citizenship in exchange for a border wall and other immigration enforcement provisions. That’s all 800,000 Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals recipients, plus a million more; Democrats and some Republicans rejected it. DACA is an Obama-era program that shielded children who were brought here illegally from being deported.
It’s constitutionally questionable, as it raises separation of powers concerns. The Trump White House was faced with a dilemma: either face a lawsuit by a dozen GOP state attorneys general over the illegal Obama executive action or have a gradual wind down of the program, with a six-month enforcement delay to afford Congress time to pass a legal DACA fix. The latter option was chosen. The alternative would have been a nationwide injunction that would have put all 800,000 recipients, who have their addresses along with proof that they were in the U.S. illegally, in the crosshairs of deportation. For DACA applicants, admitting that you’re here illegally is part of the process.
So, that’s why the Hill is taking up immigration and why Democrats decided to shut down the government for illegal aliens in January. As for ICE, keep enforcing the law. Stay safe out there.