Originally Published: October 22, 2015 6 a.m.
Just like the movie, "The Perfect Storm," 'circumstances' are accumulating for a major increase in crime in our country. Any one of these circumstances by themselves would be a cause for concern, but together, their combined effect will surely bring a significant expansion in the crime rate.
This month, the Center for Immigration Studies, published a report based on information from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the time period of Jan. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2014. This report shows that during those nine months, the 340 sanctuary cities, counties and states, had released some 9,295 criminal illegal aliens that ICE was seeking to deport. ICE had detainers on 5,947 of these illegal aliens because of prior criminal histories or public safety concerns. An astonishing 2,320 of the criminal illegal aliens that were released by these sanctuary jurisdictions were arrested again during that nine-month period.
To give the above statistics some perspective, the sanctuary jurisdictions in our country release more than 1000 criminals a month, wanted by ICE for deportation. These are crooks who shouldn't be in the US in the first place. Of those released, 62 percent have criminal pasts or are thought to be a threat to the public safety. Almost 25 percent are arrested again within a nine-month period.
Since the City of South Tucson is the only sanctuary jurisdiction listed in Arizona, one would think that the sanctuary movement would have a minimal effect on our state. That might not be the case, considering that Arizona might be a recipient of many of those released in California, New Mexico and Colorado, all of which are listed as sanctuary states, which also contain numerous sanctuary cities. It doesn't take any giant leap of logic to figure out that the progressives who promote this movement are elitists. They assume that these released offenders will not go to their areas to commit more crimes on their families, friends and neighbors, (Kate Steinle being a rare exception). These outlaws will return to their old stomping grounds or similar immigrant areas and their victims will most likely be immigrants, both legal and illegal.
The next area of concern is the release of thousands of federal convicts currently serving time in the federal prisons. The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted last year to retroactively apply substantially lower recommended sentences for those convicted of drug-related felonies. It would be nice to blame this new policy on progressives, liberals and Democrats, but unfortunately, this is bipartisan idiocy.
It looks like Republicans would like to save money by releasing these so-called 'non-violent' drug related offenders, which are almost half of the federal prison population. Democrats, on the other hand, seem to be catering to their 'hands up, don't shoot' constituency. That group is upset that sentencing for certain types and amounts of controlled substances, which are most often sold by minority dope dealers, carry much longer sentences than other types of drug sales. Forgotten is the fact that many of these heavy prison time laws were passed in the 1980s at the behest of minority leaders whose communities were being devastated by crack cocaine and other drugs.
Next month, the first crop of more than 5,500 convicts is scheduled to be released. Over 40,000 could eventually get early releases in the upcoming years, according to the Justice Department. Ostensibly, under this new policy, each convict's file will be reviewed by a judge to determine if the prisoner's early release would pose a threat to the public safety. The main thrust of this program seems to be the release of the supposedly 'non-violent' offenders and not public safety. Will the judge's review include an in depth look at plea bargains? Will it take into account 'armed' allegations or assault charges that were dropped? Does anyone really believe that illegal drug sellers do not protect their product and turf without violence?
The next circumstance that will contribute to an increase in crime is the increase in federal consent decrees. As of May 2015 there were more than twenty American cities laboring under these onerous federal incursions. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was signed into law in 1994. This law enables the Justice Department to legally pursue law enforcement agencies that show, in their opinion, a "pattern and practice" of violating Constitutional rights. It was already possible to criminally charge and/or civilly sue individual officers accused of violating someone's civil rights. That is not the intent of this law, however. This is a blatant violation of the Tenth Amendment in order to federalize local agencies. It is also highly debatable if these decrees even work. New York, Los Angeles and other jurisdictions have experienced 'questionable' shootings of unarmed suspects while under these decrees.
A major problem with the decrees is that they are inordinately expensive. They cost a lot of money to litigate. They cost more money to implement. A federal monitor, usually some political hack, is paid a lot more money to monitor and evaluate the terms denoted in the decree. But the most damaging result is that many police officers are off the streets for longer periods of time meeting the reporting criteria required by the decree. Police and civilian employees are taken off their regular duties to collect, collate and prepare the data for the monitor. Police budgets are dramatically and negatively impacted by the costs of the decrees, so there is less money for officers, employees, equipment, etc.
So, with sanctuary cities, counties and states releasing over a thousand criminals a month that ICE wants to deport, with the Feds releasing up to 40,000 'non-violent' crooks in the coming years and with less law enforcement officers on the street for shorter periods of time due to their consent decree duties, we can expect a tsunami of crime coming our way.