News & Politics

Thousands of Illegals with No Criminal Convictions Detained by ICE

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Washington Post reported that more than 5400 of the 21,362 illegal aliens detained by ICE since January had no criminal convictions. Of the remaining nearly 16,000 illegals, most had been convicted of “traffic violations.”

The figures contradict Trump administration claims that “most” of the illegals being detained until they could be deported had criminal convictions.

And to that, I give the most exaggerated shrug of my shoulders possible. The Post and illegal alien activists who are horrified at this figure fail to mention that the very act of crossing the border without proper documentation is a “criminal act” as defined by the U.S. code, with the perpetrator clearly and unambiguously subject to deportation.


“That makes me so angry,” said Kica Matos, the spokeswoman for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, an organization advocating for immigrant rights. Matos claims that the figures “confirms our worst fears, which is that this administration is really trying to deport as many as possible regardless of whether they have a criminal record,” The Post reported.

The report comes during a worrisome era for undocumented immigrants, who have faced the looming threat of deportation from the Trump administration’s policies. The Obama administration’s official line was that federal authorities would not prioritize the deportation of undocumented immigrants with no criminal history — although, in practice, many immigrants with no criminal history were still deported. The Trump administration has said that Obama’s policies and rhetoric stymied the department’s efforts to ensure the safety of US citizens.

“I think their morale has suffered because of the job they were hired to do, and then in their sense, they’re … kind of hobbled or, you know, hands tied behind their back, that kind of thing,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said. “And now, they feel more positive about things. I bet if you watch the morale issue, you’ll … be surprised going forward.”

“As Secretary Kelly has made clear, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” ICE spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea said. “All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”

“A worrisome era for undocumented immigrants,” indeed. Just think how less worried they’d be today if they had bothered to enter the country legally. It’s not rocket science to come to the U.S. with proper documentation. You stand in line, you get your forms, you fill them out, you experience a background check, and after the bureaucracy stops spinning round and round, you get your visa, or whatever legal documentation you were seeking.

True, it may take a while — perhaps as long as three years depending on where you’re coming from. But then, after you arrived, there would be no “worrisome” episodes, would there?

If you believe the law is unfair or deficient, the solution is to change the law, not pretend that illegal aliens are guiltless of criminal activity while advocating for their “right” to bypass the legal way of getting into the U.S. at the expense of their countrymen who jump through the hoops put in place by immigration authorities to enter the country legally.

It’s an issue of fairness that somehow evades the advocacy of individuals only concerned about border scofflaws.