As a thirty-year resident of Southern California, I always knew illegal immigration was a problem. But I never understood just how much the government willfully turned a blind eye to the damage it did to Americans.
Then in 2010 my son Drew, in his second year of law school, was run over three times and killed by an illegal-alien driver in the sanctuary city of San Francisco.
As I looked for answers, I realized how indifferent our nation’s public officials are to the dangers of illegal alien crime. I wanted to protect other American families from going through what my family has, and so I became an anti-illegal immigration activist.
Routinely, the media unskeptically regurgitates the talking points of open-borders advocates and tells the public there’s a “scholarly consensus” that illegal aliens commit criminal offenses at a lower rate than citizens. This never seemed plausible. Most illegal aliens have few skills and education. On average, low-skilled and poorly educated people commit more crime. And of course, illegal aliens are here in the first place because they don’t respect our laws.
With the help of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), I’ve been trying to uncover the real numbers behind illegal alien crimes—or at least, expose the claims of low criminality for the sham they are. In October, IRLI filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Office of Justice Programs of the Department of Justice, the agencies that could, but have refused to, make this information public.
We are still reviewing the thousands of pages that have been produced. But what we do know, as my lawyer, Julie Axelrod, IRLI’s Director of Investigations says, is that the government has never wanted us to know the truth. Why that’s been the case has made the American people rightly skeptical for some time.
After all, the Justice Department can tell me how many pick-pocketing crimes there were last year, but not how many people were killed by illegal aliens. For instance, according to official statistics, my son’s death was counted as caused by a citizen with a driver’s license. Not that this should matter in the debate over illegal immigration. Since they shouldn’t have been here in the first place, any crime an illegal alien commits against our own, like the killing of my boy, is a preventable tragedy.
Unenforced borders along with a wink and a nod to a massive illegal alien population encourages the very kind of people we don’t want to head our way, such as criminals on the run in Mexico who want to simply relocate here, out of the policia’s reach. The attitude of the government, however, seems to be that ignoring the crime committed by illegal aliens is a small price to pay for the benefits illegal aliens bring to the labor market.
Never mind the spuriousness of this argument itself—the last thing our increasingly knowledge-based and roboticized economy needs is more low-skilled workers.
For many years, it’s been a lonely and seemingly fruitless battle. But last November’s election, when a wave of dissatisfaction with our nation’s immigration policy brought President Trump into office and re-elected Republican House and Senate majorities, brought me, a long-time Democrat, hope. And now, for the first time in years, the White House is backing the legislation that is moving through Congress to protect Americans from illegal alien criminals.
On Thursday, the House made a start by passing two enforcement bills. The first was Kate’s Law, named for Kate Steinle, who like my son was killed by an illegal alien in the sanctuary city of San Francisco. Kate’s Law increases current maximum sentences for illegal reentry into the United States.
The second was the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. This second bill protects Americans by allowing victims of crime to sue jurisdictions that refuse to comply with ICE detainers and release criminal aliens onto the streets; withholding money from jurisdictions that prevent their officers from communicating with ICE; protecting jurisdictions that comply with ICE from being sued by groups like the ACLU; and ensuring dangerous alien criminals are detained during their removal proceedings.
My message to the U.S. Senate, now that the House has passed Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, is: do your duty and pass these bills.
And my message to Congress as a whole: Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary For Criminals Act must only be the beginning of the immigration laws you pass to protect the American public.
The American victims who bear the costs of our nation’s immigration policies have been ignored too long already. We are watching and we won’t forgive inaction.
Don Rosenberg is one of the founders of the advocacy group Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC at www.aviac.us) and lives in Los Angeles County. Don and AVIAC are currently working with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI at www.irli.org) on a series of pro-immigration control advocacy projects.