My colleagues here at the Center have spoken often of the need to do more than just address the intertwined problems of illegal immigration and crimes committed by aliens. They have also spoken in favor of amending a system that is geared toward chain migration simply on the basis of family — including members of the family after they have left the nest and are (or should presumably be) on their own and establishing their own families. (See, for instance, here, here, and here.)
Chain migration, which is without numerical visa restrictions for some categories of immediate relatives, fuels the huge numbers of individuals coming to our shores legally each year, but without much assurance that they have anything to offer our society. Sometimes, in fact, they detract from what used to be called "the common weal".
Thirty-four-year-old Daron Dylon Wint (or Darron Dellon Denis Wint, as some media outlets have styled it) seems to be one such person. Thanks to the media frenzy that accompanied the crime, most people in America probably know about the horrifying murder of a business executive in Washington, D.C., along with his wife, son, and housekeeper. They probably also know that the four weren't just killed, but tortured first; and that a U.S. Marshals fugitive task force (which included a variety of state and local officers) did a great job of tracking down the suspect and taking him into custody in short order.
What fewer know is that prime suspect Wint was an immigrant from Guyana, a happy beneficiary of chain migration who came to the United States on the cusp of adulthood in 2000. CNN tells us that fact, that he washed out from the Marines in 2001 before even successfully completing basic training, and that he has a history of multiple arrests, but from there glosses over quite a bit. It spends a lot of time quoting his former defense attorney for many of those arrests, who calls him "charming" and "kind and gentle". He goes so far as to suggest in regard to forensic evidence that authorities "made it up".
Surprisingly, People Magazine provides more detail — and balance — concerning Wint's past. Here are some of those nuggets:
- His past criminal charges include carrying concealed weapons, theft, harassment, and violating an order of protection;
- Contrary to his advocate's description of kind gentility, a member of his own family describes him as hostile, arrogant, and unwilling to listen; and
- By 2005, his own father found it necessary to take out a protective order against him.
I find myself wondering where the immigration authorities were during all of this. How quickly did he naturalize and thus wiggle out of their potential grasp? Or was he actually even naturalized? If so, was it another example of poor vetting, when he should have been denied for lack of good moral character? We don't know and probably never will.
Wint's trial for the multiple murders hasn't begun yet, and I'm sure there will be many twists and turns before it is over. Call me quick on the draw, but I've already drawn a few conclusions and find myself pondering the whys of it all.
First, many (perhaps most) of the media now find it politically incorrect, perhaps even downright socially embarrassing, to delve into or discuss someone's immigration status or national origin in virtually any story, unless it has a warm, cuddly side to it that can be used to advance the open borders or amnesty agendas. (For a classic example, ironically also involving a Guyanese immigrant charged with a violent offense, see here.)
Second, no matter what the cause, many advocates, even in the face of overwhelming facts and circumstances, remain incapable of disengaging emotionally and forming balanced, reasonable views when confronted with something that challenges the philosophies or people they are invested in. This is well to keep in mind when considering their arguments where immigration is concerned.
Third, cooperation between local, state, and federal authorities is a good thing and fosters community safety — a lesson the present administration seems to find bewildering where immigration enforcement is concerned, even though the adverse impacts of immigration can be seen all around us, and there are not nearly enough agents in the interior of the United States to be effective, absent such cooperation.
Fourth and finally, in modern America, we do not need to rely on chain migration to swell the numbers of arriving legal immigrants. We would do better to adopt the model used by some other nations, which focuses on assigning points to would-be immigrants based on skills, education, and background to arrive at an overall score in assessing their likelihood to assimilate and succeed in our society.